Homeowners seek repair, replacement or rebuilding of newly constructed home

By Holland Phillips | Sep 19, 2013

NEW ORLEANS — Local homeowners recently filed suit against a construction company for work that allegedly violates the standards and warranties afforded initial new home purchasers per the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act.

Laurence T. Norton III and Tracey Williams Norton filed suit against Joseph Edward Hermo of Sunrise Contracting LLC and First Premium Insurance Group Inc. in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on July 15.

The defendant, Edward Hermo for Sunrise Contracting LLC, is accused of breach of warranty for inadequate and substandard construction of the plaintiffs’ home. First Premium Insurance Group is named as the general liability insurer for the defendants.

The Nortons claim they entered into a contract on or about Sept. 21, 2011 for the construction of their new two-story, single-family home and garage at Delecroix Plantation. On or about July 19, 2012, construction was deemed completed as per the builder’s or contractor’s affidavit executed by Sunrise Contracting.

After occupying the home, the Nortons noticed substandard and unsatisfactory workmanship and attempted to contact the defendants many times to report the deficiencies and ask that they be remedied, the suit claims. The homeowners claim they did not receive satisfactory response or rectification of the faulty/defective/improper construction of multiple aspects of the property ranging from the detached garage, plumbing, and electrical work, to the heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, septic system, foundation and footing, doors, walls, partitions, roofing and even the carpentry work.

According to the case file, Hermo participated in a telephone conversation with the plaintiffs’ attorney in which he “indicated that he was aware of several problems with the construction of the new home, but that he would not return to rectify [those problems].”

An amount of $212,248.42 plus damages is sought for the inconvenience, emotional distress, and loss of use and enjoyment of their property in addition to judicial interest, attorney’s fees in the amount of 25% on all amounts, awards, and all costs of the proceedings. The plaintiffs would also accept a decision requiring the defendants to repair, replace, or rebuild the property to the appropriate standards.

The plaintiffs are represented by Maurice C. Trippi of Trippi Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Christopher J. Bruno.

Case no. 13-6517.

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