A third homeowner has joined a lawsuit against the town, school department and a variety of construction-related entities for damages they claim were caused by the construction of the new Cole Middle School. The original lawsuit was filed seven months ago.
Keith and Wendy Amelotte of 35 Sarah’s Trace join Chris and Susan Lamendola of 50 Sarah’s Trace and Thomas Hogan and Cynthia Peloso of 40 Sarah’s Trace in the lawsuit. Sarah's Trace lies just west of the middle school property. Homeowners on Lillibridge Drive, another adjacent street, have also complained about construction vibrations but none have joined the suit.
“We actually contacted the superintendent’s office the summer of 2010 when we had seen enough damage to say that there’s something really wrong here,” said Keith Amelotte Tuesday. “It’s really not like we just decided yesterday to do this.”
According to the court filing, the Amelottes allege that they “suffered property damage to their home and related structures as a result of the negligent and willful activities of the defendants.”
Those named in the lawsuit are Kathleen Raposa, finance director of the Town of East Greenwich, the East Greenwich public schools, construction project management company Strategic Building Solutions (SBS), engineering firm Aldinger & Associates, contractor Gilbane Building Construction, Fleet Construction and Manafort Builders.
A letter dated July 7, 2011, from the homeowners’ lawyer, David Maglio, to Town Council President Michael Isaacs, stated the case:
“Beginning in Nov. 2009, the Town and East Greenwich public schools were placed on notice by adjacent property owners of the fact that construction of the new middle school and demolition of the old school were causing noise vibration and physical damage to the neighboring homes and related structures.”
In an interview Tuesday, Keith Amelotte would not elaborate on the damage. He did say that damage continued even after the completion of construction and demolition at the middle school.
“New damage was emerging throughout this summer,” he said.
The decision to join the lawsuit was not done lightly, said Amelotte.
"Unfortunately, it’s come to this to get some action,” he said. “We would have loved to have solved this another way. Going this way is expensive. Nobody wants it to do this.”