Shiloh homeowner claims bricks were defective

By Kelly Holleran | Apr 26, 2010

A Shiloh man has filed suit over allegedly defective bricks used to build his home.

Joseph Vassen claims the bricks are now deteriorating from excessive flaking and popping because of the inferior bricks defendant Glen-Gery manufactured and sold to defendant Building Products Corp., which it then sold to defendant Real Estate Investment Properties.

According to Vassen's complaint filed April 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, he bought his home at 56 Indian Ridge in Shiloh in May 2002 from defendant Real Estate Investment Properties. Vassen did not realize when he purchased the home that its bricks were defective because of a lignite deficiency, the suit states. Bricks must contain lignite, which is necessary to prevent their flaking, popping and overall deterioration, the complaint says.

"The defective bricks render the property no longer reasonably suited for its intended use as a residence," the suit states. "As a result of the property no longer being reasonably suited for its intended use as a residence, Plaintiff has suffered damages including, but not limited to: replacement of the bricks, any materials used in the replacement, labor for replacement of the bricks, diminution in the value of his home, incidental and consequential damages."

In his five-count complaint, Vassen alleges violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, unjust enrichment, breach of implied warranty of habitability, negligence and strict products liability against defendants Glen-Gery, Real Estate Investment Properties and Building Products Corp.

He is seeking a judgment of more than $250,000, plus attorneys' fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Kevin T. Hoerner and Brian T. Kreisler of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner and Thompson in Belleville and Paul Slocomb of Hoffman and Slocomb in St. Louis will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-185.

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