Design Concrete sued by homeowners

By Kelly Holleran | Jan 13, 2009

A Hamel couple has filed suit against a concrete company, alleging their house contains numerous defects because of the work the company performed in laying down the foundation.

Jerry P. Wade Jr. and Mary C. Wade bought a house at 115 Colonial Drive for $154,900 on March 1, 2005, but have since discovered numerous material and severe latent defects in the home, according to the complaint filed Jan. 9 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Defects include numerous severe and large cracks in foundation walls causing them to bow inward and move, which resulted in a loss of structural integrity. The complaint also states that moisture has intruded into the foundation because of the cracks.

In addition, the steel I-beam pocket in the Wades' house cracked, moisture and water are leaking down behind the electrical and alarm panels and the grading surrounding the north, south and west exteriors of the home is poor so water drainage runs toward the home, the Wades claim.

On the west exterior of the home, the porch and patio have cracked and settled, the backfill on the north side of the home was improperly done, so settlement of the backfill has caused a large ponding area for water to stand next to the home. The Wades also claim that because of improper backfill and its settlement, the air conditioning unit has tilted and needs to be re-leveled and water has intruded at the wall and into the basement.

Other defects include the west wall of the home in the kitchen, which has bowed outward approximately one inch, resulting in loss of structural integrity; another west wall of the home, under the master bathtub, of which its top chord of the I-joist has been cut away, which means there is no blocking or reinforcing under the bathtub and the siding on the house is buckling, the suit states.

Russell D. Lewis built the house and subcontracted with Design Concrete of Madison County to lay foundation for it, the Wades allege.

The Wades filed suit against Lewis on Sept. 18, 2007, in Madison County Circuit Court and received a default judgment against him for $83,233.79, plus costs and interest, according to the complaint.

However, on March 1, Lewis filed bankruptcy and was granted a discharge on July 7, the suit states.

"That because the Wades, innocent purchasers, have no recourse against Lewis due to his insolvency and bankruptcy, and further because they have sustained a loss due to the faulty and latent defects in their new home caused by Defendant, a subcontractor, the warranty of habitability applies to Defendant and the Wades have a cause of action against Defendant therefore," the suit states.

In order to repair their home, the Wades claim they will be forced to move out for an extended period of time and will have to find other living arrangements.

They are seeking $83,233.29, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Gregory P. Erthal and Rosalind M. Robetson of SimmonsCooper in East Alton will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0014.

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