WINFIELD – A Scott Depot couple says a home they bought last year has major water damage and that the former owners hid the problem.
A. Hurl White and Brandie G. White filed their lawsuit Oct. 24 in Putnam Circuit Court. Named as defendants are Stephen D. McClure; Mary P. McClure; Alan Pennington individually and as agent for Cheryl Skiles, broker for Old Colony Company; Larry Dickens, individually and as agent for HomePro Systems Inc.; John Donaldson, individually and as agent for Jim Weiler, broker for Remax; West Virginia Housing Development Fund and Theron Jones.
The Whites bought their home on Country Cove Estates on Dec. 7, 2005, from the McClures. When they entered the home for the first time after closing on Dec. 10, the Whites says they found the basement area carpet was saturated with water.
In the complaint, the Whites say they found water was coming in through a basement wall, and that area contained a removable piece of sheet rock about a foot long and eight inches tall.
"It was found that the water invasion was coming from an area where the wall meets the concrete pad, which water was not present not discoverable by plaintiffs during any of their inspections," the complaint states.
The Whites say the McClures had knowledge or should have known of the existence of the defects and failed to disclose or inform them.
The McClures "told plaintiffs that here had never been water in the basement, nor had water ever been a problem," the complaint says. "When in fact, water constantly seeps into the basement of said home and has in fact been doing so for quite some time and has resulted in extensive damage to said property, rendering the property uninhabitable."
The Whites claim the McClures knowingly concealed water invasion and damage by placing furniture and other items to conceal and avoid discovery by plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs say Dickens inspected the home for HomePro Systems on Nov. 22, 2005. After closing, they say they found "numerous and serious problems with the property which were not mentioned or disclosed and that far exceed the potential cost to repair as estimated by said report."
They say Jones was hired upon recommendation to do additional investigation and inspection by Donaldson. On Nov. 23, Jones, Mary McClure, John Donaldson and the plaintiffs did inspect the property again. An oral report said the property was OK to buy. But they say that didn't reflect the true condition of property. They also say they requested a formal or written report that never was provided.
The Housing Development Fund is listed as a defendant only for the sake that the plaintiffs ask for recision of their mortgage upon the property.
The Whites say the defendants, together and separately, breached their contract and say the McClures specifically "were grossly negligent, malicious and intentional."
Because of this, the Whites say they suffered financial losses, severe mental and emotional distress, annoyance, inconvenience, legal expense and will continue to do so. They say they purchased the property to be their home and for an investment. It was the first property they had purchased on their own.
"Plaintiffs have been damaged in such a way which cannot adequately be compensated for by an award of damages," the complaint says.
They seek an order directing and requiring immediate recession of purchase, cancellation and/or recision of the mortgage obligation or to be granted judgment in the amount necessary to repair the property to its proper condition. They also seek attorney fees, court costs, joint and several compensatory damages, punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief.
Attorney L. Richard Dorsey II is representing the Whites, and the case has been assigned to Putnam Circuit Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding.
Putnam Circuit Court case number: 06-C-334