Trustees sued for selling allegedly defective property to couple

By Kyle Barnett | Nov 28, 2012

Joseph R. Ward

GRETNA – A trust is being sued by a couple who bought a home from it for allegedly not disclosing the home's defects.

Nancy Williams, wife of and Franco Valobra, filed suit against Robert Allan Nelson and Jerome Gerfield Smith, II as co-trustees of the Allan R. & Louise S. Nelson Revocable Trust & the Allan R. Nelson Marital Trust in the 24th Judicial District Court on Oct. 12.

Williams claims she and her husband bought a property from the Allan R. Nelson Marital Trust for $1.4 million on April 25, 2012. The plaintiffs allege that the trustees of the property did not disclose serious defects during the sale including termite and water damage on the underside of the living room floor, defects in the interior patio elevation, active termites in the attic, damage to the doorways of the master bedroom, wood rot of balconies, defects in roofing around the skylight, defective problems with flashing on the roof, defective gutters, defective wall framing adjoining the fireplace that allows water intrusion, defective air conditioning system and mold.

Williams asserts that had she known of the defects in the home when she and her husband were purchasing it they would have asked for a lower price and that when they later demanded a reduction in the purchase price from the trustees they received a letter from the trust's legal counsel asserting they had no liability for the condition of the home.

The defendant is accused of misleading the plaintiffs by not disclosing defects in the property.

Damages are sought for redhibitory defects and a reduction in the purchase price of the home is requested by the plaintiffs.

Williams is represented by Joseph R. Ward of Covngton-based Ward & Condrey, LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division D Judge Robert M. Murphy.

Case no. 720-048.

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