Homeowner sues landscaper over construction of retaining wall

By The Madison County Record | Jun 4, 2014

A Madison County homeowner claims a landscaping company improperly installed a retaining wall, causing water to drain into her house.

Brandy Hodges filed a lawsuit May 21 in the Madison County Circuit Court against Melissa A. Hazelwood and Green with Envy Lawn Care and Landscape.

Hodges claims she hired the defendants to install a brick landscaping wall at her Madison County home. The defendants were also supposed to install a drainage system for water runoff. In return, Hodges agreed to pay them at least $4,293, but no more than $4,733, the suit claims.

After Hodges paid the defendants $1,900, they began the project April 4, 2013, removing an existing brick wall and altering the dirt and terrain of the yard, according to the complaint. The defendants then sold the bricks and other materials in the existing wall without Hodges’s consent and without compensating her in any way, the suit states.

On April 5, 2013, they demanded Hodges pay the remaining balance on the wall before they would perform any additional work, the complaint says.

Hodges claims she paid the remainder, but was dissatisfied with the results of the finished wall.

The new brick wall was built in a manner in which the top row of bricks protruded four and one-half inches past the bottom row, the suit states. This issue changed the agreed upon appearance of the landscaping and functionality of the wall. Additionally, the placement of the drainage system caused runoff water to flow directly into plaintiff’s home.

Although Hodges made numerous complaints to the defendants, they refused to demolish and rebuild the wall until June 17, the complaint says. They worked on the wall for 11 days before they stopped halfway through its removal, leaving Hodges’s yard and terrain unsecured. She claims they also failed to correct the flawed drainage system and never attempted any additional work on the project.

Since then, the defendants have avoided Hodges’s numerous attempts to communicate with them, according to the complaint.

Hodges has no money left to repair the problem and now faces soil erosion and the continuation of flooding into her home, the suit states.

Hodges alleges breach of contract, negligence and conversion against the defendants.

She is seeking a judgment of more than $300,000, but less than $450,000, plus other relief the court deems just. She is being represented by Lloyd M. Cueto of Belleville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-749.

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