Harrison County

Their new house stinks and their home builder is to blame, Coast couple says in lawsuit

A couple who bought a new six-bedroom home north of Biloxi say in a lawsuit that D.R. Horton Inc. — Gulf Coast had a sewerage system installed for a three-bedroom home, creating a stench and damage when toilets and drain fields overflowed.

In the federal lawsuit, Michael and Lisa McLoughlin accuse Horton of negligence and fraud.

Texas-based D.R. Horton, which bills itself as "America's largest homebuilder," denies any wrongdoing and says the McLoughlins signed a contract that requires them to take any disputes to arbitration.

The lawsuit says Horton submitted plans to the Mississippi Health Department in January 2014 for a septic tank and drain field that would serve a three-bedroom house with four occupants.

Instead, Horton built a six-bedroom house on the lot in Rushing Oaks, an upper middle-class subdivision without public sewerage service.

The McLoughlins bought the house in April 2015 and moved in with their five children. Problems arose almost immediately, the lawsuit says.

— Raw sewage backed up into the home.

— Toilets and sinks gurgled night and day.

— Sewage puddled in the front yard, forcing the McLoughlins to ask that guests use their back door.

They are asking for $500,000 in damages to cover the cost of repairs and the reduced value of their home because they must disclose flooding if they decide to sell, the lawsuit says. They also want $1 million in punitive damages, plus attorney's fees and court costs.

Anita Lee can be reached at 228-896-2331or @CAnitaLee1