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Third Homeowner Joins Lawsuit Over Cole Construction Damage

Keith and Wendy Amellotte say that damage to their house has been caused by demolition of the old and construction of the new Cole Middle School.

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.”

EG Lurker October 05, 2011 at 06:12 PM
I'm still baffled as to why the school committee and town are considered legitimate litigants here - granted the town should help to assist the homeowners, but doesn't overall responsibility for damages fall on the contractor (or subs) and their respective insurance policies?
M Berg October 06, 2011 at 01:28 PM
Lurker, The Town and SC own the land the school is on and hired all the above, that's why they are responsible, No. Don't you think they owe a responsibility to these people, taxpayers who at the least paid for the new school.They put these people i a really bad position and probably left them no other alternative than to sue. Remember these are not normal people, they are politicians and will do everything to protect themselves first.
EG Lurker October 06, 2011 at 02:15 PM
So M Berg, if you hire a contractor to paint your house, and his ladder falls on your neighbors car, is the painter not responsible? Isn't this why the state requires licensing and insurance? Granted the town should be helping these people facilitate being made whole, but I'm questioning liability, not compassion.
M Berg October 06, 2011 at 03:07 PM
Lurker, Sorry to say that if that was the scenario, yes the nieghbor would sue both the homeowner and the contractor. But at least the homeowner if we was a good nieghbor would make sure (if he/she) had a conscience, to make sure the nieghbor would be made whole .....not just blow them off. Lurker, your analogy is a bad one because as I see it, the town and School Comittee had a obligation (if not a moral one) to thier taxpayers to make sure they are made "whole". If it was you and your house (and money for lawyers and such), compassion wouldn't have anything to do with it.
M Berg October 06, 2011 at 03:21 PM
Lurker, Also why do we pay taxes if our own politicians will not protect the land and homes we live in?
Roxanna October 06, 2011 at 07:59 PM
Just another botch job concerning the schools. When will the taxpayers demand more from the school committee? Seems like every project involving the schools has a big problem of some kind.
M Berg October 06, 2011 at 10:28 PM
Well said Roxanna.

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