Fairview Heights homeowners sue McBride and Sons claiming defects in new construction

By Andrea Dearden | Mar 26, 2012

Neighbors are suing the builder of their Fairview Heights homes, claiming they were poorly constructed and fail to meet multiple building code requirements.

In two separate complaints filed March 12 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Teoria Pawnell and Daniel J. and Tammy L. Smith accuse Vantage Homes of Illinois LLC, doing business as McBride and Son Homes, of consumer fraud and breach of contract.

According to the complaint filed by the Smiths, the couple contracted with McBride in September 2007 to build a home on Saybrook Falls in Fairview Heights at a cost of more than $212,000. Since construction was completed on the house, the Smiths say they have found several defects in the home. They cite multiple issues with the electrical and plumbing systems that allegedly violate city, county and national building codes.

The Smiths say McBride and Son failed to create a slope in the property necessary to allow rain water to properly drain. As a result, the couple says water pools behind the home. They say water seeping into the home's basement is also a concern. Alleged deficiencies in the concrete work has caused a breakdown of the back patio, a large gap below the front door and uneven surfaces that allow water to leak into the home's bottom floor, according to the complaint.

The Smiths also claim the electrical and HVAC system has inoperable outlets, a poorly-installed main electrical panel and improper ventilation in several bedrooms.

Teoria Pawnell has lodged similar complaints against McBride and Son. She says she entered into a contract with the company for construction of a new home on Saybrook Falls Drive in July 2011. She says the $180,000 home has multiple construction problems and fails to meet several building code requirements.

The lawsuit filed by Pawnell lists 18 items she says are evidence of the homebuilder's allegedly shoddy workmanship, including improperly installed pipes, missing window and door trim, loose siding and improperly installed vents.

Pawnell and the Smiths say McBride knowingly built the basements of their homes at an elevation even with the water table, "inviting flooding" into their homes. The homeowners say they specifically asked about the water drainage and the potential for flooding and were told there were no concerns.

Pawnell and the Smiths accuse McBride and Son of breach of contract, consumer fraud and deceptive practices for poor workmanship. They say the contractor used unlicensed and unskilled subcontractors and failed to repair any defects. They are each asking for actual and exemplary damages plus court costs. They would also like an injunction against McBride from performing further construction where he is not certified or qualified.

Attorney Mark S. Peebles of Belleville represents the Smiths and Pawnell.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-136 and 12-L-434

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