In what might be the most expensive callback in the history of home building, a Montana jury has decided that a builder and plumbing contractor must pay almost $1.75 million to a homeowner after a drainage system they installed caused damage to the foundation of her home. As reported by the Billings Gazette, Oakland Home Builders Corporation and Treasure State Plumbing and Heating must pay $240,000 in damages for breach of contract, negligence and personal injury plus $1.5 million in punitive damages.
The problem began in 2008, when the home owner noticed there was water seeping into her house from a shallow aquifer under the home.
Oakland and Treasure State worked to fix the problem, installing a sump pump and drain system that was supposed to pump water out from under the house and prevent water from seeping in. About two years later, the home's foundation and basement were "settling, moving or collapsing" toward the west side of the home, where the drain and sump were installed. The system that was supposed to be pumping the water from under her house also was causing erosion, causing the foundation to sink.