Bel Air couple sues over lead in their water

July 30, 1995|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

A Bel Air couple who learned that the well water being pumped into their house built in 1992 contained higher lead content than allowed by Environmental Protection Agency regulations is suing the contractor, pump manufacturer and installer for $2 million, Harford County Circuit Court records show.

Gregory and Patricia Patterson of the 1100 block of E. Wheel Road contend that their health has been damaged and that their house is worthless because the builder, plumber and manufacturer were negligent.

The Pattersons said they signed a contract Aug. 24, 1992, to have Vanos Construction Co. of Havre de Grace build the house. The contract allowed Vincent Baxivanos, the owner of Vanos Construction, to select the plumbing material and hire a subcontractor to install it, the Pattersons' lawsuit says.

Mr. Baxivanos selected a Jacuzzi Brothers well pump and hired subcontractor S. A. Bogan's Plumbing Inc. of Bel Air to install it, the suit says. The Pattersons contend that, as a result of the pump chosen and its installation, their water is considered contaminated and unfit for consumption.

The defendants displayed a disregard for EPA regulations, the Pattersons contend, and the well pump's manufacturer failed to provide sufficient warning labels about its use.

Mrs. Patterson said last week that she and her husband did not want to discuss the lawsuit until the defendants had filed responses to it.

Steve Bogan, owner of the plumbing company, did not comment. He said he preferred allowing attorneys for both sides to work out the problem.

Repeated calls to Mr. Baxivanos were not returned.

Barry Coplin, a Little Rock attorney representing Jacuzzi Brothers, the Arkansas-based manufacturer of the well pump, said it is "not appropriate to comment on pending litigation."

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