House splits in 2, Saskatchewan couple sues

The old saying that a house divided upon itself cannot stand is something a Saskatchewan couple has learned the hard way.

Porcupine Plain couple wins lawsuit

A Saskatchewan couple's dream home turned into a nightmare when the house fell off the trailer moving it. (Courtesy Karan Gendron)

The old saying that a house divided upon itself cannot stand is something a Saskatchewan couple has learned the hard way.

Two years ago, Karan and Maurice Gendron of Porcupine Plain were horrified when their house fell off a trailer and split in two.

Back then, the Gendrons were getting married and planning to have a family.

As a wedding present, Maurice bought Karan an old farm house that they were going have moved to their lot near the hamlet of Weekes.

It was a small house, but it had a cute little kitchen according to Karan Gendron. (Courtesy Karan Gendron)

Cute little kitchen

It was nothing fancy, with a purchase price of just $5,000, but Karan loved it.

"Growing up, that was the exact type of house I ever wanted to move in," she told CBC News. "You know, it had the cute little kitchen ... it was perfect, the way I wanted."

A family member recommended a farmer who had apparently moved houses before. He agreed to do the job for $7,000, with half paid up front, but on moving day, the deal literally fell apart.

Addition severed from main house

"As a result of the fall, the addition portion ripped away from the main portion of the house while the house was sitting on the moving platform," court documents said. "The addition had toppled over, landing on its roof, and was completely severed from the main house."

Gendron said as she drove up to the lot, she was horrified to see what had happened.

"I saw the house was sideways and opened up like a can," Gendron said. 

Gendron says the mover told her he knew people who could fix it, but that never happened.

$8,500 plus interest

"Everything that we started to dream for and work for is gone," she said.

The Gendrons sued and in a recent court decision, Judge Barry Morgan awarded them $8,500 in damages, plus interest.

The mover had argued that the house was partly damaged because the Gendrons left it on wooden blocks exposed to the elements, but the judge didn't buy that.

"By way of analogy, if a motor vehicle is burned to the point where the vehicle is a total write-off, and someone later breaks the windshield, that is hardly adding to the damage," Morgan wrote in his decision.

The house is now unliveable and too expensive to fix, the Gendrons say.  

In addition to paying the Gendrons, the mover has until July 31, 2013, to retrieve the house — if he wants it, the judge said.

(With files from CBC's Joana Draghici)