Developer sues over statements made on homes he was building

Kelly Holleran Oct. 23, 2009, 5:17am

The developer of a Granite City subdivision is suing two individuals who he says made numerous false statements about homes he was building.

Hunter's Point Homes and James Hettler filed a lawsuit Oct. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court against Beryl L. and Dorothy M. Foreshee.

Hettler, who is developing a subdivision called Hunter's Point Homes in Granite City, claims the Foreshees began making false statements about him and his land to potential buyers.

For example, they told at least two people on July 1 that Hettler was selling property that didn't belong to him; that one of the homes being constructed by Hettler was uninhabitable; that Hettler does not maintain a pond as it becomes a mosquito-infested swamp in the fall; and that all work should be completed before closing because Hettler would not complete the job after he received money, according to the complaint.

In addition, they said that Hettler falsely represented property boundaries; was "too stupid" to complete roads in the subdivision; and constantly changed the rules of the subdivision, the complaint says.

"The aforementioned statements constitute slander per se because the statements prejudice the Plaintiff and impute a lack of ability in its trade, profession and business," the suit states.

Because of the Foreshees' statements, Hettler has lost out on sale opportunities, he claims.

In the six-count suit, Hettler is seeking a judgment of more than $300,000, plus punitive damages, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Douglas C. Gruenke of Belsheim and Bruckert in O'Fallon will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1103.

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