Washing machine floods newlyweds' new home

January 16, 2012 8:39:27 PM PST
Buying your first home can be one of the biggest thrills in life. It can also be a huge headache if something breaks. One newlywed couple had their first disaster even before they moved in to their new home.

"It was going through just kind of making the place our own," said Tiger Ginn.

Newlyweds Tiger and Kristin Ginn were excited to move in to their very first home together in an Emeryville condominium complex.

"It was something we were building together, so that was special. We were painting walls, getting furniture," said Tiger.

They also bought a new washer-dryer set from Sears. The store sent a delivery crew to install the machine and the couple was ready to move in to their new place, until disaster struck.

"About quarter to midnight, we got a phone call saying we were flooding the unit below us. I said, 'That's funny because we're not there,'" said Tiger.

They rushed over to the condo and found a big puddle under their new washing machine. Tiger says water leaked from the washer, through a wall, under the floor and into the unit below.

"We hadn't even done a load of laundry in our washing machine and it's already flooding our unit and the unit below us," said Tiger.

The couple contacted Sears and right away the store replaced the hose on the washer. That stopped the leaks, however their new home was already damaged. They had to pull out a wall, the stove behind it, and the bamboo floor that covers the entire first floor. The repairs cost nearly $30,000.

"Here it is, you've got your new place and you can start moving in, except, 'Wait, wait, wait, actually we have to replace your whole flooring,'" said Tiger.

They did move in, but it was a tough way to start out their new lives. The furniture had to be pushed to one side. The second floor serves as living and dining room. Tiger says Sears wouldn't pay for damages until it determined the cause of the leak.

"It was just back and forth with whose fault is it," said Tiger.

Ten months passed and Tiger says the couple still had no money for repairs.

"We knew we needed to reach out for help, so that's why we called 7 On Your Side," said Tiger.

We contacted Sears and it looked into this case and weeks later, the couple received a huge belated wedding gift of about $29,700 from Sears.

The retailer told 7 On Your Side it cannot discuss what happened. Spokesperson Larry Costello said, "The settlement is confidential, therefore I can't comment on the details related to the case."

Tiger and Kristin didn't hesitate. They hired a crew right away to put in a new bamboo floor and wall. The finishing touches are almost done. For this couple, it's not a moment too soon.

"I feel like I can finally move in!" said Tiger.

As for the damaged unit below, Tiger says a bank owns that condo and the bank stepped up to make repairs. No word on who will foot the bill there.