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ARTICLE ID 161427

CONFIDENTIAL - NEGLIGENT CONSTRUCTION - DEFENDANT DEVELOPER DEVIATES FROM ARCHITECTURAL AND SURVEY PLANS AND ALTERS TOPOGRAPHY - WATER DAMAGE TO PLAINTIFFS' HOME DOWNHILL FROM CONSTRUCTION SITE.

Massachusetts

In this negligent construction action, the plaintiff homeowners contended that the defendant real estate development company and its subcontractors negligently built several houses in such a fashion that the construction caused damage to the plaintiffs’ home. The plaintiff eventually brought suit against the defendant general manager of the development company individually because the company was essentially a shell with no real assets.

The defendant purchased three parcels of land uphill from the plaintiffs’ home. The parcels were on both sides of a private way. The defendant had control over the development of private way. The defendant demolished the three existing single family homes and constructed two attached duplexes on each parcel, for a total of six duplexes. As part of the construction, the defendant blasted to remove ledge and filled a depression where water had originally collected when it ran away from the plaintiffs’ home. As soon as the defendant changed the topography, water began to collect in the plaintiffs’ yard and in the basement of the home.

The plaintiff testified that there had never been any issues with water in the basement or on the property prior to the defendant’s modifications of the topography uphill from the plaintiffs’ home. At one point, the plaintiff stated, there was water in the basement from the floor to the ceiling and the fire department had to remove tens of thousands of gallons of water from the basement. The plaintiff claimed property damage from water and the subsequent mold that developed afterward.

The matter settled prior to trial for a confidential sum paid by the general manager. At this point in time, the plaintiffs have received nothing from defendant principle.

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