Homeowners Win Settlement Under Missouri Merchandising Practices Act
We recently obtained a settlement for George and his wife in a case involving their Homeowner's Association and some flooding which occurred in their home. In the summer of 2019, our George and Druscilla's home experienced extreme flooding from what we believed to be a clogged up sewer drainage system located in the backyard of their home. The home was located in a well-known subdivision in the St. Louis area and our clients suffered a great deal of property damage as result of that first flood. Having cleaned up and picked up the pieces from their first flood, in an area where no one should ever be subjected to flooding conditions, George and his wife suffered another flood from the same condition about one month later.
We reviewed extensive documentation and determined the the HOA and management company was responsible for ensuring that the storm system was kept free of debris and other conditions which could cause flooding. The Homeowner's Association and their management company flatly denied any responsibility. The HOA and management company informed our clients that they should make a claim with their own homeowners insurance. Of course, George's own insurance company would not cover the loss as it arose from water which came from a condition not within the home, such as a broken pipe or flooded toilet.
We filed a lawsuit on behalf of our clients under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. This is a set of laws in Missouri which seeks to outlaw fraudulent and unfair activities in business dealings. It can be a very specialized area of law and requires a solid understanding of the intricacies of a claim coming under the MMPA. Being such a unique case, we needed to creatively draft the lawsuit and conduct various discovery actions and depositions in order to leverage significant liability against the HOA and management company. Ultimately, even before engaging in depositions of those Defendants, we were able to leverage a significant offer to settle the case.
Many times, our cases revolve around injuries and accidents affecting physical health. In this case, although the physical health of George and his wife was not affected, they will certainly rest much easier now that they have been reimbursed for the significant property damage suffered as a result of the improper conduct by their Homeowner's Association and management company.
Practice area(s): Fraud, Insurance, Residential