May 24, 2006

I officially hate someone now

If you'd asked me a few days ago whether I hated anyone, I'd think about George W Bush for a bit but then say, no, I don't think I hate anyone. Even George has the country's best interests at heart, though I thoroughly disagree with his methods. Today, though, I officially hate someone.

I officially hate the Richardsons who now own the property where my wife grew up, 1171 Camino Tassajara in Danville, CA. They believe my father-in-law lied to them about a sewer line in his back yard. In my opinion--and I knew the man for over fifteen years--he would never lie about something like that. He would go well out of his way to point out any known flaw in any item he wanted to sell. He was the epitome of honest and forthright. But the Richardsons, when they found that they had not done their homework regarding an extension they wanted to build on to the house after they bought it, decided they needed to blame someone else for their disappointment.

Who better to attack than the bereaved widow?

That's right: my father-in-law passed away from pancreatic cancer less than two months after the Richardsons bought the house. He was in steep decline shortly after the sale contract was signed, and he died just two weeks after moving out of the house. So the Richardsons had a lawyer send his widow a nastygram threatening a $250,000 lawsuit if she didn't fork over $85,000 within two weeks. Of course, we acquired our own lawyer (expensive retainer) and gently reminded them that according to the sale agreement, they were supposed to offer mediation before lawsuit. We then did our homework and found out that both of their claims in the nastygram were wrong: although they said they "knew" my father-in-law knew about the sewer line, I don't think he understood that it was a "main" requiring disclosure. Also, they claimed the existing addition to the house which was done in the mid 70s was "illegal." In fact, the addition had fully approved permits and was entirely legal even though it sat over the sewer main that is in the back yard.

The Richardsons also knew about the sewer line within days of their sale agreement because they had a company come to clean it out. They certainly should bear some responsibility for not doing their own homework to find out more about it vis a vis their expansion plans.

All this culminated in the mediation, which took place on Monday. My mother-in-law ended up paying them a significant chunk of money because they were dead-set on going to court, and she had had her fill of anxiety, pain, and suffering. The Richardsons feel they were lied to. Those who knew my father-in-law know that he would not have lied about something like that. At the time he filled out the disclosure form, he was on heavy chemotherapy and was sleeping sixteen hours a day. The Richardsons, in choosing to attack his grieving widow, have earned my lasting enmity. They think they were wronged. I disagree and think they are the ones who have wronged someone. In my opinion, they extorted a significant portion of her very small retirement fund.

The Richardsons have torn down the entire house that used to stand at 1171 Camino Tassajara in Danville, California. They plan to build a larger, new house in its place. I would say I hope they're happy there, but really I can't say that because I don't hope it. I hope they're very unhappy there, that every time they drive up to the property they think about how they used lawyers and intimidation and strongarming to squeeze a little bit of money out of a grieving widow. The money she gave them is a huge portion of her life savings but a very small amount compared to what the Richardsons paid for the house and are no doubt shelling out for its complete demolition and reconstruction.

I do not like officially hating someone. It is not something to which I aspire. But I will do it if someone earns it.


Jane D. said...

last night I went to sleep thinking about throwing burning bags of shit in the middle of the night into their construction site. I also thought about seeding the entire site with a some highly aggressive and unpleasant plant life. Poison Ivy? Do they have seeds for that? What about crab grass? Carrion flowers?

PJD said...

Thanks, you're sweet. But I can't condone actual violence or vandalism. Still, it's the thought that counts.

Jane D. said...

Yeah...I wouldn't actually do it but indulged in the vengeful thoughts. In my heart I know that the Richardsons will get their due. I wonder how long they will enjoy staying there with so many disapproving neighbors.