MWDN: Southborough couple have a $1 million money pit

Above: This home on Lovers Lane is crumbling around its owners (Photo from Town of Southborough Property Record Card)

This is a story we’ve talked about before on the blog – and one many of you had strong feelings about – and now the Metrowest Daily News gives us more detail about how one Southborough family’s dream home became their nightmare.

Kathryn and Christian Culley say the newly-built home at 22A Lovers Lane started falling apart just weeks after they moved into it in 2005. They claim it was built illegally on poor-quality fill, and they’ve been fighting for justice ever since.

A Middlesex Superior Court jury ruled last summer that the 3,500-square-foot, $1.1 million home the Culleys bought in 2004 was built shoddily, and those who built and sold it to them had committed fraud.

During the course of the legal proceedings, builder Gary Cato lost his license, as did two engineers, John Greendale and Carlos Ferreira, who both admitted to stamping plans improperly. After a monthlong trial, a jury awarded the Culleys $1.1 million in damages, an amount that was to be tripled automatically because of the fraud and building code violations.

A year later, though, the Culleys haven’t seen a cent. They are still looking for resolution.

The town of Southborough was not named in the Culley’s suit, but in a deposition Peter Johnson, the building inspector at the time, admitted he allowed construction of the home to continue even though the builder had not applied for a building permit, and signed off a temporary certificate of occupancy without having all the required building data.

You can read all the details – and see photos of the home – in this article by the MWDN.

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John Kendall
12 years ago

No offense intended towards the homeowners, but if my new house had a garage I couldn’t fit a car in, construction would have been immediately halted and the state building inspector would have been called. Like any other business, there are good builders and really bad builders. I truly wish you well in being reimbursed for all of your troubles.

Donna McDaniel
12 years ago

Just to mention that Peter Johnson is no longer the Building Inspector… I’m not sure how long it’s been, but hopefully we can feel better that he’s not here to sign things that shouldn’t be signed. But no charges against him?

Seymour Goode
12 years ago

Just to let readers know this same Peter Johnson made it so difficult for us to place a shed on our property – kept wanting one thing after another for compliance before allowing us to have it installed (and not a big one either). We abandoned its construction. It is/was truly amazing that there was such a run-around for something so small and inconsequential. And yet he allowed this to happen at such a major level.

There should be consequences for his poor handling of this home construction on his part. Had he done his job properly, and by the book, this would not have happened.

My sympathy to the home owners who have had to go through this nightmare that most certainly could have been avoided/prevented,

Ms. Julie
12 years ago

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12 years ago

How many other houses in Southborough did Peter Johnson let slide by? How many more houses did Cato build?

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