Condo Owners File Lawsuit Against Developers

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 08/12 2014 07:42PM

Updated 08/12 2014 11:11PM

ST. ALBANS, Vt.-  People in St. Albans are living in what they call a nightmare. The foundation of the Southbrook Condominiums is shifting, causing major cracks in the floor and walls.

The Southbrook Condo Association is suing the developer of their condominiums, Harrison Concrete, saying inferior construction standards caused the buildings to sink into the ground.

These cracks run the length of Aimee Perrino's living room.

“It’s literally sinking into the ground,” said Perrino, the Treasurer with the Southbrook Condominuim Association of Franklin County Vermont, Inc.

The back half of their home is sliding into the ground.

“It’s very frustrating, it’s difficult. It’s really a nightmare,” said Perrino.

But they say that's just the beginning.

“It's definitely worse and worse as time goes on,” said Perrino.

Perrino and her husband bought this condo along south Main Street in St. Albans about a decade ago.  At the time she says these cracks were small and had been patched up. They were told the problem wasn't structural.

“It’s come unsealed and gotten bigger. If you come in here you can feel it dropping off,” said Perrino.
And if you look through this crack in the basement you can actually see into the neighbor’s home.
And Perrino is not alone. Almost all of these homes are so damaged they aren't fit to sell. So two years ago the condo association filed a lawsuit against the developers Harrison Concrete.

The court documents point to an independent study of the land underneath the condos that shows five foot holes where there was no dirt to support the building; and that’s causing the buildings to sink.

“It’s estimated now at close to one million dollars to fix, so it’s going to take some considerable money but it can be fixed and I really hoping that it can be fixed,” said Perrino.

The lawsuit is on-going but the judge recently denied the developer’s request to drop the charges against them.
Perrino hopes that's a good sign and they might be one step closer to a safer home.

“I just want a safe home for myself and my family,” said Perrino.

We reached out to Harrison Concrete for a comment but did not hear back from either of the owners named in the law suit.

The lawsuit is still pending in Franklin County Court but Perrino is hoping it wraps up as quickly as possible before the homes are  so badly damaged they are deemed unlivable.

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