Couple says contractor didn't make bathroom handicap-accessible

By Annie Cosby | Nov 21, 2014

PRINCETON – A Mercer County couple is suing over claims the construction company they hired to construct a handicap-accessible addition built a restroom difficult to use in a wheelchair.

Ray and Sherry Price filed a lawsuit Oct. 14 in Mercer Circuit Court against Lambert Construction Company of Bluefield.

According to the complaint, the Prices contracted Lambert Construction on June 14, 2010, to construct a driveway, a bedroom and bathroom addition to the Price residence, making sure the addition was pursuant to the Americans with Disability Act standards, as Ray Price is confined to a wheelchair.

The complaint states Lambert not only assured the Prices it was experienced with ADA standards, but that the bathroom could be constructed in similar design to that of Health South Rehabilitation Center, from which Ray Price had recently been released as a patient.

The Prices says Lambert constructed the addition with no regard to the aforementioned discussions, with errors including the bathroom sink being too high for wheelchair use, a step placed before the shower, electrical sockets out of a wheelchair user's reach and an incline leading to the bedroom from the rest of the house.

The Prices also say Lambert made general errors such as using mismatched paint, leaving large cracks in the drywall, failing to install vents in the bathroom and failing to grout and seal the shower, which led to water leaking and damaging the bathroom floor and adjoining sub-floor, which destabilizes the entire addition.

According to the lawsuit, Lambert constructed the bathroom door so that it opened the wrong way, and when workers came back to fix that error, they installed the door incorrectly so that it locks from the outside. The Prices say they have expended nearly $60,000 on a project that did not result in a handicap-accessible restroom or complete a bedroom and that is estimated to require $20,000 to fix.

The Prices seek judgment that the defendant be required to pay for the cost to repair the addition. They also seek $50,000 in damages for emotional distress due to Ray Price being subjected to humiliation and distress in attempting to use a non-handicap-accessible restroom for daily living and $40,000 for breach of contractual duties.

They are represented by attorney Phillip B. Ball of Smith, Lilly & Ball in Princeton. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Derek C. Swope.

Mercer Circuit Court case number: 14-C-546-DS

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