Belleville home owners discover their property is in flood plain

Kelly Holleran Mar. 18, 2010, 4:00am

A Belleville couple claims they suffered economic damages after discovering their home is located in a flood plain.

Shawn and Elaine Lane filed a lawsuit March 5 in St. Clair County County Circuit Court against James and Lisa Gunter, Century 21 - Cannady and Associates Realtors, Lou Ann Niemann, Real Star Realty, Michelle Fagone, Freedom Mortgage Corporation and Lereta.

The Lanes claim they bought a home at 5 Heather Dr. in Belleville on March 28, 2008, from the Gunters.

Before the Lanes purchased their home, the Gunters filled out a Residential Real Property Disclosure in which they represented that their home was not located in flood plain, according to the complaint. Relying on the Gunters' representation in the disclosure, the Lanes decided to purchase the home for $182,000, the suit states.

However, the Lanes discovered on Jan. 26, 2009, after purchasing their home, that it is indeed located in a flood plain as revealed by an elevation certificate, the complaint says.

The Lanes say all the defendants intentionally hid the fact that the home was located in a flood plain to entice them to purchase it.

They allege fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract against the Gunters; fraudulent concealment and consumer fraud against Cannady and Associates, Niemann, Real Star Realty and Fagone; and negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract against Freedom Mortgage Corporation and Lereta.

In their 14-count suit, the Lanes seek a judgment of more than $700,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Kurt S. Schroeder of Mathis, Marifian, Richter and Grandy in Belleville will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-100.

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