Spring home's purported plumbing problems prompt lawsuit against Calif. couple

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | May 27, 2013

HOUSTON - Complaining that a California couple fraudulently sold them a house in Spring, Harris County residents Stephen and Dana Cabler have filed a lawsuit.

Court papers were filed against Oakley, Calif., residents Henrique and Lisa Pinguelo in Harris County District Court on Feb. 25.

The case was transferred to the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas on May 22.

According to the Cablers, the Pinguelos executed a seller's disclosure notice stating the residence did not have any "detects or malfunctions with the plumbing systems and that there was no item, equipment or system in or on the property that was in need of repair."

Said notice also affirms the defendants "were not aware of any condition on the property that materially affected the health or safety of any individual, and were not aware of any repairs or treatments made to the property to remediate environmental hazards such as mold."

The Pinguelos attested the structure did not experience any previous flooding, but acknowledged there was a bath overflow which they said was taken care of.

The plaintiffs counter that a large amount of "black water" inundated the house in March 2010 and rendered it unlivable because of the apparent contamination, asserting sewer water flooded the edifice again after the couple purchased it nearly a year later.

"It was later determined that there was a leak in the half bath toilet riser located below the elevated subfloor and above the slab surface," the suit says.

"This leak was compounded by the clogging of the yard trunk line at the rear of the home. The full sewer system backed up."

The original petition ultimately argues that the Pinguelos knew of the plumbing problems yet neglected to notify the buyers nor took remedial steps.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Thomas P. Bowes of the Bowes Law Firm PLLC in Bellaire is representing the complainants.

Case No. 4:13-CV-1494

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