Edwardsville couple claims flooded property is uninhabitable

Kelly Holleran Jan. 7, 2010, 5:33am

An Edwardsville couple claims it can no longer inhabit a new home they purchased in 2006 because of five floods, which have substantially damaged the property and its contents.

David and Catherine Berkenbile filed a lawsuit Dec. 28 in Madison County Circuit Court against Faccin Construction Company and Holishor Association.

The Berkenbiles claim they agreed to purchase a new home at 1190 Tampico in Edwardsville from Faccin and closed on the property June 15, 2006.

"The home and lot is adjacent to a lower lot where water collects and the drain for the adjacent lot is at a higher elevation than the Plaintiff's home," the suit states.

As a result, the Berkenbiles' home flooded four times – on May 25, 2008; on June 3, 2008; on Sept. 14, 2008; and on May 25, 2009, the complaint says.

Because of the repeated flooding, the Berkenbiles claim their house remains uninhabitable, they suffered damages to their possessions and they suffered a substantial reduction to the value of their home.

"Because of the condition of the premises described above, the Plaintiffs are the owners of a parcel of residential real estate which cannot be sold to an innocent purchaser without disclosing the defects herein and is therefore of no marketable value, wherefore Plaintiffs have been damaged in the sum of $173,000," the suit states.

They blame Faccin for negligently knowing that the building lot could flood, for failing to construct berms and dykes around the home, for failing to bring in fill to raise the home above flood level and for failing to warn the Berkenbiles of the risk of flooding, the complaint says.

They also name Holishor Association as a defendant in the suit because the not-for-profit organization sold the land to Faccin without warning of flooding on the lot, according to the complaint In addition, Holishor negligently modified the uphill drainage to increase the amount of water flow onto the lot and failed to maintain culverts downstream to drain the lot, the suit states.

In the four-count suit, the Berkenbiles seek a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs.

Robert D. Larson of Alton will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-1403.

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