Bethalto couple seeks more than $1 million over mold, water damaged home

Kelly Holleran May 4, 2010, 10:14am

A Bethalto couple is seeking more than $1 million after they say numerous entities failed to reveal significant water damage and mold infestation to a home they bought.

Sean and Holly Farris claim they entered into a residential real estate contract on Jan. 24 with defendant Tonya Dugan to buy property at 111 South Kingdom St. in Bethalto for $83,000. Prior to the closing of the property, Dugan executed a real estate disclosure form, purportedly promising to reveal all defects known with the property, according to the complaint filed April 20 in Madison County Circuit Court.

In addition, before they purchased the home, the Farrises hired defendant Brett Ahring of co-defendant Absolute Property Inspections doing business as National Property Inspections to inspect the home, which he performed on Jan. 26, the suit states.

They relied on Dugan's, Ahring's and defendant Nancy L. Dona's representations when purchasing their home. Dona worked for defendant Landmark Realty -- Bethalto and listed the property, the complaint says.

However, Ahring, Dugan and Dona did not inform the Farrises before closing that the property they were purchasing was part of an estate and did not tell them that the home had significant water damage to its foundation, roof, subroofing, walls, flooring and floor joists, the complaint says. In addition, mold had infested numerous areas of the home, the suit states.

"The Plaintiffs have been damaged in that the property is virtually worthless and is a threat to the health and safety of their family," the complaint says. "Plaintiffs have suffered monetary damages as the property is virtually worthless and uninhabitable."

The Farrises say they have suffered personal and pecuniary damages, including pain, suffering, lost wages and medical costs.

The Farrises claim Dugan, who was selling the property as adminstratrix of the estate of Douglas Carl Dugan, and Dona knew of the damage to the property, but failed to disclose the defects even after the Farrises asked if there was anything they should know about the property.

In addition, they blame Ahring for failing to identify the home's defects.

In their 30-count complaint, the Farrises are seeking a judgment of more than $250,000, actual damages of more than $1.25 million and punitive damages, plus costs.

They will be represented by Deborah A. Hawkins of Hawkins Law Office in Edwardsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-438.

More News