Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, September 16, 2019

Metro Contracting countersues homeowners; Alleges reconstructed home's price escalated from requested upgrades

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Aug 30, 2016

A contracting company claims the cost of a Wood River couple’s reconstructed home was increased due to the changes and upgrades they requested after a 2012 fire destroyed their home.

David and Linda George sued Metro Contracting & Design and Barry R. Ash of Wood River in January. They allege that the price to reconstruct their home at 551 N. Third St. was $240,000 instead of $208,000, which is what was stated in the contract.

They further allege the construction was done in a shoddy manner and was left in a dangerous condition.

The plaintiffs also argue that work continued on the home until October 2013 even though it was turned over to the plaintiffs earlier in the year and that a back-up generator was purchased but was never installed.

The Georges allege the defendants failed to provide receipts, warranty information and owners’ manuals for items purchased for the home.

Metro Contracting & Design and Ash answered the complaint on Aug. 2 through attorney Clifford Emons of Alton.

They denied the allegations and argued that the plaintiffs’ upgrades, including granite countertops, out-building construction, driveway construction and front entrance changes, “drove the price of this construction far beyond what the initial estimate as evidenced by the pay request form …”

“[T]he plaintiffs improperly seek to mollify these charges in order receive (sic) better materials and enhanced construction designs free of charge amounting to unjust enrichment,” the affirmative defenses state.

They also allege the home cost roughly $290,000 to rebuild.

The defendants further argue that the plaintiffs harassed them and failed to allow them on the property to repair any remaining items, which caused them to exceed the one year warranty.

They also allege the plaintiffs interfered with their performance by having a third party install a generator without notifying the defendants.

The plaintiffs answered the affirmative defenses through attorney Andrew Carruthers of Edwardsville on Aug. 16.

They denied the allegations against them and demanded strict proof.

The defendants also filed a counterclaim against the Georges arguing that they requested changes in construction and upgraded materials without the need for signed change orders, meaning they waived any argument that the change orders were required.

They allege the Georges have paid $235,361 for the house, but they still owe $55,049.39 on the contract as a result of their “repeated” upgrades.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-48

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