South Philadelphia woman claims former owner didn't disclose property's problems with sewage system

By Nicholas Malfitano | Aug 9, 2017

PHILADELPHIA – A South Philadelphia woman alleges her residence’s former owner failed to disclose problems with the sewage system on the premises, before completing the sale to the plaintiff.

Katherine Heisler of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on July 17 versus Sunny Realty, LLC of Bala Cynwyd and ValueGuard USA, Inc.

On Aug. 23, 2016, plaintiff purchased a property at 1928 South 21st Street from the seller for $195,000.00. Prior to the sale, the defendant represented they were not aware of any defects to the sewage system in the subject premises.

During an inspection conducted prior to the sale on July 18, 2016, the defendant did not inspect the sewage system. But after the sale, the plaintiff says she became aware of the sewage system’s non-functioning condition and no visible sewage vent because it had recently been covered in concrete.

As a result of the faulty sewer line, the plaintiff says the property’s basement flooded multiple times over the course of several months. This caused the plaintiff to be unable to use the basement as a workspace, plus $10,000 worth of damage to various items, including a mattress box spring, Mayline light table, sectional sofa, family heirloom dresser and a piece of art by Andy Warhol.

This further led to the plaintiff being unable to use certain water sources simultaneously, and to stop using appliances or water sources completely during periods of flooding.

In order to repair the sewer line and restore the basement, the plaintiff had to incur the following expenses: Initial clearing of the main sewer line - $75.00; Removal of concrete and video inspection - $1,950.00; Installation of new sewer pipe - $5,400.00 and Basement restoration - $3,201.18.  

During the July 18, 2016 inspection, the plaintiff alleges the defendant/home inspector made an inspection and found water damage and rot to the right support post of the porch.

One month later, on Aug. 18, 2016, the defendant/home inspector conducted a follow-up inspection and claimed the right support post had been repaired. After the follow-up inspection, the plaintiff discovered the repair post had not been fixed, and was still water-damaged and rotted. The repair costs of the right support post will be in excess of $5,000.00.

For counts of misrepresentation, violation of the Real Estate Seller’s Disclosure Act, violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation and punitive damages, the plaintiff is seeking damages in an amount in excess of $25,626.18, plus interest and attorney’s fees in this matter.

The plaintiff is represented by Kelsey M. Catania of Michael F.X. Gillin & Associates, in Media.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170701425

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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