Legal Question in Construction Law in Indiana

Raw Sewage in Crawl Space

We just moved into a brand new custom built home December 16th. We've noticed a foul odor since the day we moved in and it has gotten worse. We've told the plumber and the builder reps and have been blown off - we were told to put veg oil down the trap. My husband went under the crawl space tonight and discovered in under 5 seconds what the problem was - the pipes coming from 2 of the upstairs bathrooms were not attached to the sewer line - not even close to the sewer line and have been leaking raw sewage into our crawl space. We left a message with the plumber and the builder, but of course its Sunday eve, so no call back. In addition to them fixing the problem, do we have any other recourse? What about the inspector who signed off on the house? This is complete neligence!

Asked on 1/29/06, 10:00 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Raw Sewage in Crawl Space

I'm sorry you and your family have been exposed to this health hazard. You have an excellent chance of success in a civil action against the contractor, the plumbing contractor and inspector. You might even be able to rescind the purchase agreement and mortgage. If the contractor doesn't promptly clean out the crawl space and hook up the drains, then you should gather all your papers (purchase agreement, sales brochures, mortgage agreements, deeds -- everything) and make an appointment with an attorney who is experienced in consumer protection/construction law. Good luck.

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Answered on 1/30/06, 12:00 pm
Mark Voigtmann Baker & Daniels

Re: Raw Sewage in Crawl Space

You have a potential claim against EITHER the builder or the inspector, or both, depending on the facts and the language in the contracts you signed with either. As always, however, the issue will not as much depend on whether you have legal recourse against either of these parties as it will depend on the economics and other motivations affecting the parties. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to call me. Thanks for your question.

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Answered on 1/29/06, 10:43 pm

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