A Real Damper?

Aug 26, 2007
The Miami Herald

Author: JOAN FLEISCHMAN jfleischman at MiamiHerald.com

Edition: First
Section: Front
Page: 4A


Talk of Our Town

Footwear mogul Donald J Pliner and wife Lisa, who own an $11.8 million mansion on Star Island in Miami Beach, say that when it rained, it poured -- inside. Leaky windows, the Pliners claim. They are suing the sellers.

The Pliners, who purchased the home in October '04 from Michel "Haim" Ifergane and wife Alexandra, said they noticed the leaks in '05. In April '06, they hired a construction consultant to water-test the windows. "Excessive water intruded into the house at each of the windows . . . tested," the complaint says. Improper installation, the consultant concluded.

The Iferganes "failed to disclose" the problem, the Pliners' suit says. "The leaking windows . . . adversely affect the value of the house."

The Pliners had to replace the windows for around $215,000, their attorney, David C. Pollack, says. The Iferganes' attorney, Heather Rutecki, says there was nothing to disclose because the windows did not leak when her clients owned the place. Rutecki says the Pliners first had the windows inspected in 2006, months after hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. "If you buy a house in '04 and your windows are leaking when it rains, you call someone," Rutecki says. "You don't wait. It just doesn't make sense."

The Pliners want a jury trial -- and damages. The Iferganes want the matter tossed -- and attorney's fees. (The Pliners also allege negligent construction and design of the home in a separate suit against the Iferganes' general contractor and architect. The Pliners say the house sustained water damage and mold. The couple and daughter Starr moved out during remediation and reconstruction, and Pliner spent more than $1 million to restore the house, Pollack says. The companies have denied wrongdoing. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Leesfield has the window suit, and Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely has the construction case.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS Former NBA star Glen Rice and estranged wife Cristy, in the throes of divorce, sold their unfinished home in Gables Estates -- for $9.25 million. Buyer is 500 Arvida LLC, but insiders say the new owner is Agustin "Tino" Herran, 38, a real estate developer and president of the Sedano's supermarket chain. Copyright (c) 2007 The Miami Herald Record Number: 350640

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