Legal Question in Construction Law in New York

We bought our home in 1990. It was built in 1985 in Newfield New York. The house was inspected prior to purchase and passed. Over the past year we have been having problems with water backing up from the dry well (kitchen, laundry, shower water) the pipe runs under the concrete basement floor. A professional looked at it and stated the drainage pipes are the wrong size and type (perforated instead of solid). Apparently the pipe has shifted or has broken somewhere under the house. Is the Town of Newfield or the Town Supervisor responsible for negligence in allowing the builder to use the wrong plumbing for that water management? It was the Town Supervisor who origionally would have been supervising the building process making sure all codes were met, which they obviously were not.

Is it possible we could get a settlement allowing us to put in the proper piping?

Thank you for your time

Mary Anne Muldowney

Asked on 11/01/11, 10:22 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Kevin Connolly Kevin J. Connolly

Bad news. You can't sue a government unit for not enforcing the building code or allowing shoddy work. After twelve years in the house, the Statute of Limitations has expired. Even if you could show that the seller actually knew about the problem, you would have to prove fraud in order to gain the use of the special one-year-from-discovery rule that extends the statute of limitations in fraud cases. Fraud is VERY difficult to prove.

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Answered on 11/04/11, 6:05 am

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