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Downtown condo residents sue developer over damage

March 19, 2012

The homeowners association for a downtown Indianapolis condominium is suing the well-known developer of the project, claiming faulty construction has resulted in significant damage to the structure.

The Hudson Condominium Association Inc. filed the suit last week against The Hudson Condominiums LLC, an entity established by Carmel-based Kosene & Kosene Residential Inc. to develop the project.

Kosene began construction on the 70-unit Hudson building at 355 E. Ohio St. in 2004 and finished in 2006. The Hudson is one of three luxury condo projects, including the Maxwell and Packard, that Kosene has developed downtown and named after classic cars.

Units in the Hudson range from 901 square feet to 2,804 square feet and originally sold for between $176,350 and $721,517.

The complaint alleges that Hudson residents last year began noticing cracks in the first floor walls and ceiling. They also noticed a slope in the floor.

An engineering firm hired by the homeowners association to examine the building concluded that improperly installed truss hangers had slipped, causing the floor trusses to move.

Engineers also determined that improperly placed backfill caused the floor of the basement garage to shift, according to the suit.

The homeowners association is suing Kosene for breach of implied warranty and negligence, and wants the developer to pay to repair the building.

It’s unknown how much the repairs might cost. A lawyer representing the association said the amount has yet to be determined.

"We're hoping that we'll have it resolved one way or another and get this whole dispute put behind us fairly quickly," said Joseph Chapelle, an attorney at Barnes & Thornburg LLP who represents the condo owners.

David Kosene, president of Kosene & Kosene, said his company is reviewing the claim and also is hoping for an "amicable resolution."

The homeowners association filed its suit in Marion Superior Court on March 13, the same day it filed a similar complaint against its insurer, The Travelers Indemnity Co. of America.

Earlier in the month, Travelers notified the association that it was denying coverage for the damage. But the association claims that an insurance policy it had with the company that ran through June 2011 should cover the damage.

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