Property was over-valued, under-sized, man claims in suit

Kelly Holleran Oct. 22, 2009, 3:40am

A man who bought property without first seeing it is suing the people who sold him the land, saying the sellers lied to him about the property's dimensions and about its value.

Darren Dole claims he bought property on Dutch Hollow Road in Belleville from Equity Fifty-Five real estate agent and defendant Michael J. Fix and his wife and co-defendant Lynn Fix on March 31, 2001, for $15,000.

Before Dole bought the property, Fix told him that the land was scheduled to be used in a Metro Link expansion, according to the complaint filed Oct. 15 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. He also indicated the land was worth $15,000, which was an inflated estimate, the suit states.

However, Fixes' representations were false and were made only to induce Dole to buy the property, the complaint says.

In fact, the Fixes colluded with certified real estate appraiser and co-defendant Herman Fauke, who told Dole the lots for sale were 80 by 900 feet and 80 by 105 feet and were worth $46,000, Dole claims.

As a result, Dole says he suffered actual damages of $15,213, plus the costs of taxes and insurance on the property each year.

In addition to the actual damages, Fix is seeking punitive damages in excess of $50,000 and pre-judgment interest, plus other relief the court deems just, according to the complaint.

He will be represented by Richard G. Reed of Reed and Bruhn in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-549.

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