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Former tenants file suit against landlords

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GINA R. HEINE
August 30, 2008
— Land sliding into Kiwanis Pond behind a Racine Street apartment building has resulted in a second lawsuit.

This time, it’s two of the tenants, Marvin and Peggy Krueger, who claim the landlords failed to return a security deposit of $640 after the apartment building was deemed unlivable.


The property owners earlier filed suit against the city.


In August 2007, a section of land behind 1916 E. Racine St. slid down a steep slope toward Kiwanis Pond, leaving a gash in the hillside about 20 feet by 30 feet long. About 15 feet remained between the edge of the slope and the apartment building.


The landside happened after a period of torrential rainfall.


The city evacuated the building as a precautionary measure—and it’s been empty since.


The Kruegers filed suit earlier this month in Rock County Court against Michael and Joan Tripicchio and Tripp and Associates, the owners of the apartment.


The Kruegers are seeking twice their financial loss, a judgment declaring the lease unenforceable by the landlord and actual costs and attorney’s fees


The lawsuit states:


-- The Kruegers hired movers to help remove the family’s possessions from the apartment and put them into storage. They vacated the apartment Aug. 9, the same day the city inspected the area and declared it unsafe and uninhabitable.


-- Peggy Krueger repeatedly asked orally and in writing that Tripp and Associates return her security deposit. The company refused to return any of the deposit, and the suit states Joan Tripicchio complained that the Kruegers had not cleaned the apartment before being evacuated Aug. 9. The Kruegers say they had no opportunity to safely return to the apartment and clean it.


Tripp and Associates in July filed a lawsuit against the city seeking compensation for lost rent and for the city “taking of the land” without condemning it.


The company wants the judge to order the city to correct the ongoing damage to the property.



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