Villages couple files lawsuit seeking compensation for sinkhole damage

Article Courtesy of The Villages-News
By Marv Balousek
Published May 31, 2020


Sumter County has become a defendant in several lawsuits, commissioners were told this week.

Johnny and Robin Susko of the Village of Pennecamp are seeking $30,000 for damages to their home caused by sinkholes they claim came from storm water draining from a golf course at the Cane Garden Country Club.

Defendants are The Villages Operating Company, Cane Garden Country Club, Sumter Landing Development District, Community Development District 8 and Sumter County.

District Judge Mary Thatcher denied a Sumter County motion to dismiss the case earlier this month. The Suskos claim that the county’s failure to maintain an overflow pipe caused water to flow on to their property.

Jessica Laube and Robert Hunter of the Village of Dunedin are suing The Villages and Sumter County, claiming that a promise was violated that public access to a pond behind their home would be prohibited. They bought the home in 2015.

In the complaint, they claim that allowing public access to the pond will degrade their property values and make their home more difficult to sell. Other defendants include the Villages Center Community Development District, Sumter Landing Development District and Community Development District 10.

Sumter County was named a lawsuit defendant because commissioners voted to designate the pond as a recreation area.

County attorney Jennifer Rey has filed a motion to dismiss the case against Sumter County because it does not own the pond property.

Sumter County also is among counties named in a lawsuit brought by Dream Defenders and several other non-profit groups challenging Florida’s voting procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dream Defenders is a group formed after the 2012 killing of teenager Trayvon Martin.

The lawsuit calls for relaxing rules for voting by mail and improving access for minority and handicapped voters.