A woman is suing the man from whom she purchased a home, saying he failed to reveal the fact that the soil in the home's backyard is quickly eroding.

Laura Defendall filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County Circuit Court June 16 against William Dahlman.

Defendall says she purchased a home located at 7735 Baxter Dr. in Belleville on April 26, 2005, from Dahlman.

Beginning in 2008, Defendall began to notice the rear slope of her property was eroding, according to court documents.

"What had been a 12 to 15 foot wide rear yard has been reduced to a width of only 3 to 5 feet," the complaint says.

Only after she purchased the property did Defendall realize her home had been built on an old construction dump site, the suit states.
During the course of erosion, various construction wastes began to surface, including chat, rock, brick, cement block, lumber and wall board, Defendall claims.

The cost of stabilizing the yard will run more than $30,000, according to the complaint.

Dahlman violated The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Pracitices Act, the suit states.

"Based upon the condition of the soils and subsequent erosion of the slope, it can be presumed that Defendant had no intention of delivering to the plaintiff a home that was constructed in a reasonable manner," the complaint says.

In the two-count complaint, Defendall is seeking a judgment in excess of $25,000 and unspecified actual and exemplary damages, plus attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Timothy J. Bates of Belleville will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-320.

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