Family forced to live in camper after house is damaged; files la - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Family forced to live in camper after house is damaged; files lawsuit against Clayton Homes

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MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -  A McMinn County family says they're forced to live in a camper after their modular home was damaged while being delivered. Despite some repairs, the family filed a lawsuit against Clayton Homes and claims the house is still not safe.

The lawsuit states that a subcontractor drove the home into an overpass on I-75 while delivering it. Tim Adams said his family fears the house could collapse on them if they decided to move in there.

"We feel like we're in prison on our own property," said Adams.

Adams, his wife and 12-year-old daughter were excited to move into their new home in McMinn County last year. Instead they've been stuck living in a camper just yards away from the damaged house.

A lawsuit against the manufacturer, Clayton Homes (CMH Homes, Inc.) said the company told Adams in December that his home would be ready in three weeks.

"Here it is nine months later, and we're still in the camper," Adams said.

From a distance, you don't see much. But upon a closer look -- "The porch is starting to bow," Adams pointed out, along with dozens of cracks in the foundation, split ceiling beams and rafters, bulging walls and some uneven flooring, too.

"They say there's no such thing as a straight line in nature. Well, there's not a straight line on that house, either," said Adams' attorney, Wilton Marble. "Some of the problems are just so blatantly apparent, it doesn't take an expert to see."

The lawsuit alleges a Clayton Homes subcontractor damaged the home while delivering it, and the company didn't tell Adams of the home's previous damage before he purchased it.

The suit notes that after months of botched jobs, a supervisor told Adams it was safe to move in and turn on the electricity -- despite failed inspections.

"I feel safer here than I would in that home," Adams said while standing in his small one-bedroom camper.

He said he has been making $1,400 monthly mortgage payments on a house that he fears can collapse at any time.

"(We want to) make them fix the home so it's livable, and compensate my client for the time he's had to live in this camper as a result of not doing what they should have done to start with," Marble said.

"It's a nightmare we wish we would wake up from," said Adams.

Channel 3 reached out to Clayton Homes for comment. We were referred to Sharon Kennedy, the company's Director of Human Resources near Knoxville. After leaving two messages, Kennedy did not yet respond to our requests as of Wednesday evening.
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