Life imitates art for Tom Hanks.
The Money Pit star and his wife, Rita Wilson, sued an Idaho construction company for $3 million in 2007 for the botched building of their $12 million home. But arbitrators ruled against their claim, instead placing the blame for the shoddily built house on the architect.
Not only did Wilson and Hanks lose, now they have to pay up...
After the American Arbitration Association determined that the duo failed to prove that damages to the house were the fault of Storey Construction (the case was completed over 10 days in April), they slapped the couple with the full cost of arbitration: $167,623.
Hanks and Wilson said in a statement that they aren't happy with the decision and that they've already resolved their problems with the architect.
"Over the years, we have experienced a number of serious problems with how our home was designed and built," the couple stated. "We have previously resolved our claims against the architect. For various legal reasons, including the passage of time, the arbitrators did not share our view of the contractor's portion of responsibility. While we disagree with the outcome, we are pleased that the contractor's counterclaims were rejected."
The arbitrators may have forced the couple to cough up dough, but they did admit that evidence in the case showed "overwhelmingly that the architectural and structural plans were very poorly executed and contained numerous design errors and deficiencies." The ruling also noted that the house, finished in 2002, had leaking roofs, inadequate drainage, fireplaces that did not vent properly and an inadequate air-conditioning system.
A lawyer for Storey Construction says the judgment finally vindicates the firm.
"It's shocking and disgusting that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson would treat anyone the way they treated [owner] Gary Storey," attorney Miles Stanislaw said. "The emotional and financial damage they have done to Gary Storey and his family is incalculable. Hanks and Wilson didn't just lose the case, they were disgraced."
Hanks and Wilson had settled with the firm last year in a one-day arbitration deal in which the couple received $900,000.