Saturday, March 29, 2003

Court: Suit against Drees can be tried

Family says homebuilder promised no nearby development

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BURLINGTON - A family's lawsuit that claims they were misled about their potential home can go to trial, the Kentucky Court of Appeals said in overturning a lower-court ruling in favor of one of the region's largest homebuilders.

John L. and Rami Amaro sued The Drees Company and John Salierno in a real estate contract case in Boone Circuit Court in 1997.

The Amaros claimed that Salierno, as an employee of Drees, had said farmland across from the Derby Farms subdivision off Conrad Lane would never be developed. The suit said they were told it was part of an "airport buyout" and would never be sold to developers.

The family, which purchased the home in March 1996, were looking for a house away from industrial development because of their son's asthma and allergies, the suit said.

The Amaros asked Drees to take back the home the following month when they learned the farmland was being transformed into what is now: the Gateway Business Park. The Amaros sued in 1997 after they say the homebuilder refused.

"In April of 1996 when the appellants (Amaros) were preparing to move into their new home, they learned of plans to build an industrial park on the farmland," the three-judge panel wrote in their opinion. "Appellants attempted to rescind the contract, however, Drees would not agree to a rescission."

Boone Circuit Court Judge Jay Bamberger granted Drees summary judgment. But on appeal, a three-judge panel ruled there are legal grounds for the case can go to trial.

"When homebuyers have specific concerns about the nature of the surrounding land due to the health and their child and desire to live in a rural suburb, the fact that a development restriction is not as it was represented could very well be material to the homebuyers," the judges wrote.


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