Broken foot at vacant home leads to personal injury suit

By Andrea Dearden | Dec 4, 2013

An Illinois woman says she broke her foot while walking around a Collinsville house that was for sale.

Patricia Fuentes filed a lawsuit Nov. 21 in Madison County Circuit Court against Asset Management Specialists Inc., Asset Management Holdings Inc. and Blasingame Group Inc., doing business as Star Realtors.

Fuentes claims the house at 714 E. Clay St. had been vacant for at least two years before a "For Sale" sign was put up, prompting her to walk around the property on Jan. 31. At the rear of the house there allegedly was a patio containing a cellar door that was flush with the ground and the same color as the concrete.

With the cellar door being somewhat hidden, Fuentes claims she stepped on it without knowing. She contends the cellar door was not secure and in poor condition causing her to fall down several of the concrete steps leading into the cellar. Fuentes says she fell about six feet and broke her ankle.

According to the complaint, the house went into foreclosure in September 2010 and ownership was eventually taken over by the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Asset Management Specialists was hired by HUD to be the property manager and to oversee the sale of the property.

Asset Management Specialists contracted with Star Realtors to sell the home, Fuentes claims, sometime prior to her finding the house while driving through town. She alleges there was nothing on the property warning prospective buyers not to walk around.

Fuentes accuses Asset Management Specialists, Asset Management Holdings and Blasingame Group of negligence. She asks for more than $150,000 in damages for medical expenses, loss of income and court costs.

Attorney John C. Webster of Alton represents Fuentes.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-1943

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