Photo by Ray Miller-Still 
Construction expert Will Martin taking some measurements of the siding of a house in Enumclaw’s Suntop Farms.
Construction expert Will Martin taking some measurement of the siding of a house in Enumclaw’s Suntop Farms. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Photo by Ray Miller-Still Construction expert Will Martin taking some measurements of the siding of a house in Enumclaw’s Suntop Farms. Construction expert Will Martin taking some measurement of the siding of a house in Enumclaw’s Suntop Farms. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Law firm looks to sue LGI Homes over recent storm damage

Casey Law believes it can prove homes in the Suntop Farm neighborhood were poorly constructed.

A Seattle-based law firm is looking to help homeowners in Enumclaw’s Suntop Farm development file a lawsuit against developer LGI Homes.

The issue at hand is whether some of the homes were improperly constructed, leading to roof and siding damage when a snow storm blew through the Plateau on the night of Feb. 13.

Construction defects happen to be a specialty of Casey Law PLCC, the firm hoping to bring on clients from the Suntop neighborhood in the coming weeks before filing the suit.

According to lawyer Wesley Higbee, Casey Law is looking to represent an LGI Homes neighborhood in Mount Vernon for improper window installation, though that lawsuit has also yet to be filed in court.

REVISITING THE DAMAGE

There’s no denying that the storm that hit the greater Pacific Northwest area was fierce; the Seattle Times reported that SeaTac Airport got more than 12 inches of snow, and the AP reported hundreds of thousands of people from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho lost power.

But here on the Plateau, several Suntop Farms homeowners said there’s no way the storm would have caused as much damage to their homes if they were properly built; a local weather station said sustained wind speed during the storm never rose above 40 mph, and gusts only got to around 50 mph.

Annie Nahon, who had been living in her home for just about two months when the storm came, reported that shingles and siding were blown off her home, leading to melted snow soaking her attic insulation and water leaking into her top floor.

When Nahon called a contractor to look at the damage, she said the contractor “was shocked and horrified that my tiles were not nailed in correctly… and they’re not glued down,” Nahon said. “She was like, ‘your whole roof is going to have to be replaced… I’m guessing this is how they did all the other roofs. Every single roof, in this entire neighborhood, needs to be redone.’”

Troy Runner, another homeowner, also had shingles fly off his roof, and the resulting water damage was like “someone dumped a kiddie pool of water” into his master closet. He added that he also believes his shingles were missing nails and adhesive to keep them attached to the roof.

Seth Pohlman — a third LGI customer that suffered roof damage — claimed LGI told him that his shingles would be attached to his roof by six nails, but the contractor he hired to survey the damage said whoever built his home only used four.

Although all three were clearly upset by the damage sustained to their brand-new homes, it appeared at least Nahon and Runner were even more upset by the fact they couldn’t get their one-year home warranty to kick in; they both said they were tuned away by the warranty holder, saying the damage wasn’t covered under “inclement weather” or “acts of God.”

This is in despite of the fact that the shingles and siding should have held up to far greater wind speeds, Casey Law claims.

MOVING FORWARD

At this point, Casey Law is still waiting on enough Suntop Farms homeowners to join their lawsuit before it’s filed in court.

Higbee and a construction expert, Will Martin of Seattle-based Robson Forensic Inc., visited the neighborhood on March 11 to take some measurements and meet with homeowners.

“It turns out that the house we inspected last week, the siding was nailed into the drywall — not into the studs — and that’s why the wind was able to take it off,” Higbee said in a March 9 interview.

During last week’s inspection, Martin said he’s seen shingles nailed down with an insufficient number of nails.

After enough homeowners partner with Casey Law, Higbee said the firm will send LGI Homes a letter of notice; the firm then has to wait about three weeks before filing the lawsuit.

Casey Law can be contacted at 206-605-0626 or chris@casey-legal.com; for more information about the firm, head to www.casey-legal.com.

LGI Homes did not return a request for comment by print deadline.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Erica C. Barnett, a Seattle journalist whose coverage includes city hall, homelessness and transportation, poses for a picture outside her Pioneer Square neighborhood office. Barnett was one of several speakers during the April 13 King County Conference on Addiction Disorders. Photo by Alex Bruell
Zooming to recovery: King County panel discusses addiction, sobriety during COVID-19 pandemic

Health experts and recovering addicts shared insight, data on staying sober during isolation

Screenshot
Enumclaw Rotary hosts first-ever online auction next week

The auction is taking the place of the cancelled Street Fair last summer.

A photo of the Moving Wall
Traveling “Moving Wall” will spend four days in Enumclaw

The Moving Wall will arrive in the Plateau Aug. 5.

Image courtesy Wyn Van Devanter
Baby Animals and Blooms Days at Maris Farms

The new event is only being hosted April 24 and 25, and on May 1, 2, 8, and 9.

The members of Enumclaw, in a courtesy photo taken by Raphael Gaultier
“A name that … meant being the best”: how rock band “Enumclaw” got its name

Tacoma’s new indie band “Enumclaw” is named after, you guessed it, Enumclaw

Blotter bug
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | March 31 – April 8

A broken traffic light, sleeping behind the wheel, and a loud basketball game.

Enumclaw Police Correctional Officer Tyler Ewalt holds open the door to a holding cell at the police department’s jail the afternoon of April 5. The cell, while not the one he rushed to when an inmate attempted suicide last month, is nonetheless where inmates in crisis are typically held. Photo by Alex Bruell
Enumclaw jail officer prevents inmate suicide

Officer Tyler Ewalt noticed the inmate-in-crisis over a video screen in March.

Male police officers standing behind Do Not Cross tape
70-year old domestic violence suspect shot by deputies in Buckley

The man was airlifted to a hospital and remains in stable but critical condition.

The Buckley Multipurpose Center, where the city council meets.
Buckley addresses Phase 2, search for new council member during Council meeting

Council approved union contract, awarded construction bid and more

Most Read