Crumbling Foundations: Number of Affected Homeowners Growing - NBC Connecticut

Crumbling Foundations: Number of Affected Homeowners Growing

Attorneys tell NBC Connecticut Troubleshooter George Colli what steps people need to take if they're concerned their foundations are failing. (Published Thursday, July 23, 2015)

Ed. Note: The original version of this story incorrectly referred to John Patton as the president of the J.J. Mottes company.  He is, in fact, a spokesperson.

The number of people reporting their issues with crumbling foundations to NBC Connecticut continues to grow.

Some have gone through the nightmare of replacing their concrete foundations. Others are currently dealing with the problem or they’re just now finding they may have the issue.

Of the nearly 70 people to contact the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters, all who filed claims with their insurance companies says they were immediately denied.

Every person who has contacted us – who knows where the concrete for his or her foundation came from – says it was from J.J. Mottes out of Stafford Springs.

The few who don’t know say they purchased their homes years after they were built and are working to find out.

The earliest a foundation was poured, according to the people with whom we've spoken, was 1983. The latest was 1992. All of them are from the eastern part of the state.

Contractors and building officials say the cracking for this catastrophic problem is unique and can take 15 years or longer to show.

Many of the people sharing their stories with NBC Connecticut’s George Colli realized the seriousness of the problem for the first time when they saw our Troubleshooters investigation.

And they’re asking, "What do I do now?"

Attorneys Michael Parker, of Springfield, and Brenda Draghi, of Ellington, say they have 90 pending cases against insurance companies for denying claims.

These are the first things they say to do if you’re concerned your basement walls could be at risk of failing:

  • Contact a licensed structural engineer or building inspector with experience dealing with this type of foundation failure.
  • If they say you likely have the problem, contact an attorney, preferably one who has gone through this legal process. You may have to fork over a hefty retainer, as every settlement they’ve reached has taken at least 18 months.
  • Don’t file a claim with your insurance company until you’ve consulted an attorney. Once you file the claim, the clock starts ticking on your statute of limitations to file a suit.

J.J. Mottes Company continued to decline comment on any issues prior to 1998.

In a statement released Tuesday, J.J. Mottes company spokesperson John Patton said the company has "begun working with managers, geologists and testing labs to review all manufacturing methods and materials."

This review began after NBC Connecticut contacted J.J. Mottes concerning the issue.

Ed. Note: As the Troubleshooters have reported on this issue over the past year and a half, the Joseph J. Mottes Company (JJ Mottes) has evolved its response.  Click on this link to see the company’s most recent full statement to NBC Connecticut and its response to the State of Connecticut.

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