O'Fallon couple sues former homeowners over alleged defects

Kelly Holleran Sep. 23, 2009, 6:50am

An O'Fallon couple has filed suit against the people who sold them their house, alleging the couple was not informed of leaking problems when they bought the house.

Robert and Rozanne Simpson claim they bought a home located at 1791 Saddlewood on Aug. 16, 2008, for $287,000.

In a residential real property disclosure report, Timothy S. and Tammy L. Martie, the home's sellers, claimed they were not aware of any flooding or recurring leakage problems in the house's crawl space or basement, according to the complaint filed Sept. 11 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. In addition, the Marties indicated they were unaware of structural defects in the home's basement or material defects in its roof, the suit states.

However, after the Simpsons moved into the house on Sept. 12, 2008, they discovered significant flooding in the crawl space, a leaking roof and structural problems, the complaint says.

"The crawlspace had flooded on multiple occasions, leading the sump pump to run almost continuously with standing water in the crawlspace," the suit states. "The flood water has left the crawlspace area vulnerable to mold problems and exposed Plaintiffs' children to health dangers associated with such mold. The crawlspace flooding and leaky roof have compromised the Property's structural integrity."

In order to fix the problems with their newly acquired home, the Simpsons will have to remove shingles and all roof sheeting in the damaged area; furnish and install plywood sheeting, felt and moisture guard to all the valleys, plus place 25-year self-sealing shingles on the roof and five-year vents, according to a recommendation from Padgett Building and Remodeling Company. In addition, the couple faces the prospect of re-grading for a drain, the installation of a drainpipe and the replacement of the sump pump, according to a proposal by Woods Basement Systems.

In their two-count suit, the Simpsons are seeking actual damages of more than $150,000 and a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs, attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems just.

They will be represented by Lori E. DaCosse and Jennifer A. Betz of Moser and Marsalek in O'Fallon.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-482.

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