By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING – A couple who bought a South Haven condo built on contaminated land two blocks from Lake Michigan is entitled to about $470,000 in damages from the Realtor and her real estate agency that handled the deal, the Court of Appeals has ruled. The Realtor who handled the deal knew that sales brochure information about environmental conditions at the 10-unit Factory Condominium redevelopment project – Belgravia – was false, the court said. Meryl Greene of Coldwell Banker Weber-Seiler Realtors also failed to tell purchasers Gary and Kathleen Bowman of Augusta that the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) had found the property still “highly contaminated with chlorinated solvents in the soil and groundwater, and metals in the near-surface soils.”
The abandoned building where the Bowmans’ condo is located had been a factory from 1916 to 1979 that made coffins, gun stocks, pipe organs and other products. According to legal documents and the DEQ, workers dumped industrial solvents, sludge and wastes from painting and plating that contained toxic materials – some linked to cancer – into the drains. A developer, who later declared bankruptcy, hired Greene to market the condos.