Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Iowa

I got water in my basement 7 years after I bought it, I hired a contractor to tile the inside in 2002, he also installed a sump pump. The same year I still got water and every year after that I got more and it flooded my basement. I made many calls and wrote letters asking him to return to see what was going on, he didn't. I had flooding for 9 years, with 3 years so wet that I could not leave my home over night for fear of flooding. One of those wet years I sat in the basement and watched where the water started and pulled the spongy material (contractor put it around the entire walls) and found a hole, then I found 20+ more holes. I found the holes 8 years after the 1st contractor. I hired another contractor to put in another sump pump and they found NO tile, only pea rock. I called the original contractor to come and find the tile, he insisted they did not do the holes and there was tile,his brother said they did do the holes and there was NO tile at all and he admitted this to my lawyer. I had to hire the 2nd contractor to re do the entire basement to make it waterproof. I got an attorny and the judge dismissed it due to statute of limitations. I doubt he read the entire case, only reading the dates. Does the fact that I was lied to, cheated, and found the holes after the limitations ran out, play any importance in this? Or did the limitations rule over everything else. How did I know they damaged the basement? I lost over $11,000.00 and they want me to settle for $5000.00. I don't know anyone else to ask. Thank you.

Asked on 10/23/13, 1:29 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Robert Luedeman solo practitioner

You can argue that fraud should toll the statute of limitations but it generally starts from when you first became aware of the problem or should have known through reasonable diligence of its existence. That argument can be made by your attorney but I suspect it will cost you a bundle to make that point, if it passes muster. Even if you do, the maximum you are going to recover would be $11,000. Seeing as the court already dismissed the case because of the statute of limitations any money you get will be gravy.

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Answered on 10/24/13, 6:42 am

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