Madison - St. Clair Record

Friday, February 28, 2020

Asbestos attorney's $1.1 million home is sinking in fill dirt, suit says

By Ann Maher | Jun 9, 2014

Nate mudd

A Madison County asbestos attorney is suing the developer of the subdivision where his $1.1 million home is located because the lot on which it was built once had a 40-foot gully that was extensively graded and filled with gravel, wood, asphalt, bricks, paper and dirt.

Nathaniel Mudd of Maune, Raichle, Hartley, French and Mudd, filed suit May 29 in Madison County Circuit Court against Gary Thiems, Fox Creek Realty, Fox Creek Country Club, Fox Creek Estates, Steven Dorsey and Piedmont Development Corp.

Mudd and his wife Michelle seek in excess of $100,000 for costs of engineering reports, repair and installation of piers to stabilize their sinking Edwardsville residence built in 2009. They are represented by John W. McCracken and Daniel Harvath of the Goldenberg firm in Edwardsville.

Nathaniel Mudd claims that when he met with a representative of Fox Creek Realty in 2006, he was told that the property was naturally sloping, and was not told that it had previously contained the deep gully. He claims the property - situated in a cul de sac - had already been cleared of trees and excavated, "and unknown to Plaintiff, the previously existing 40' deep gully on the Property had already been filled," the suit says

The lot was purchased for $150,000 on Dec. 26, 2006, the suit says.

After living in the home for approximately three years, the Mudds claim they began noticing cracks in the structure and walls of the residence in the spring of 2012, but were assured by builder Dorsey, who operates Piedmont, that the cracks were caused by the expansion and contraction of the trusses.

The suit alleges that Piedmont failed to obtain proper inspections, compact the fill as necessary to render the property suitable for construction, supervise the work and alert the plaintiffs to the presence of extensvile fill on the property when it was discovered.

"Once construction was underway and the foundation was being dug, Dorsey Defendants knew or should have known the Property contained fill dirt of an unusual nature and that the Property would therefore be unsound for the proposed construction activity," the suit claims. "Nevertheless, Dorsey Defendants breached the above-cited provision, covered up the infirmity of the underlying land, and built the entire residence, instead of contacting Plaintiffs 'before conditions are further disturbed.'

"Dorsey Defendants constructed the residence on top of fill dirt, rather than natural virgin land, causing the residence to sink into the fill dirt."

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-766.

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Maune, Raichle, Hartley, French and Mudd