Man blames builder for lien on home

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 8, 2009

HUNTINGTON -– A man says a builder made several mistakes in building his $400,000 home and has caused a mechanic's lien to be placed on the house because of the builder's failure to pay several subcontractors.

Richard A. Flowers filed a lawsuit July 29 in Cabell Circuit Court against Mark A. Stevens and 1st Class Homebuilders.

Flowers says he entered into a contractor agreement with Stevens and 1st Class Homebuilders in which Stevens promised to build a home at 116 Oliver Drive in Daniels. The contract price was $428,000, according to the complaint.

In the contract, time was stated to be of essence. However, Stevens and 1st Class Homebuilders intentionally misrepresented work completion deadlines, progress reports, alleged costs needed to continue the project and the quality of construction materials, the suit states.

Stevens and 1st Class Homebuilders have breached various other components of the contractor agreement, including using inadequate mortar for the footer and foundation, which were improperly constructed, the complaint says.

Flowers also claims his home has frequent voids in the mortar, has vertical cracks in its foundation, lacks sealer on its walls, has improperly constructed ceiling joists, contains trash and debris that have not been hauled away from the construction site and lacks a properly constructed frame and drainage system.

In addition, Stevens and 1st Class failed to pay suppliers, subcontractors and material men furnishing work, leading to a mechanic's lien that was placed on the property, according to the complaint.

Stevens and 1st Class also misappropriated and converted payments made by Flowers for the construction of the home and have refused to reimburse him for the payments, including a $60,000 payment Flowers made, the suit states.

Flowers is seeking $188,000 for the breach of the contractor's agreement, $188,000 for Stevens's and 1st Class's failure to timely build the home, $188,000 for Stevens's and 1st Class's intentional failure to timely construct the home and to refund Flowers's money, $56,317.53 for the mechanics' liens that were placed on Flowers's property, plus punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and additional judgment the court deems just.

Randall L. Trautwein and Michael L. Powell of Lamp, O'Dell, Bartram, Levy and Trautwein will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 09-C-634

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