Louisville home not 'The Greatest' for Alis

Muhammad and Lonnie Ali at the dedication of the Muhammad Ali Center
Muhammad and Lonnie Ali at the dedication of the Muhammad Ali Center

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's no longer home sweet home for Muhammad and Lonnie Ali. The celebrities are suing a Louisville couple claiming the east end home they bought from them is full of problems.

The suit was filed Monday in Jefferson Circuit Court and when you're dealing with the former three-time heavyweight champion of the world, it's news that travels fast. TMZ's "Celebrity Justice" quickly picked up the story proclaiming, "Muhammad Ali is ready for another big fight, suing a couple that sold him a home that even Ty Pennington couldn't fix."

Ali and his wife Lonnie contend their $1.8 million plus home on Elmcroft Circle in east Louisville is far from "The Greatest!"

The suit claims former owners Patrick R. Lancaster IV and his wife Beverly knew about some serious water issues and other problems when they sold it to Alis in 2006. The suit cites a long list of problems, starting with a leaky roof, chimneys, bad decking and tile work. The lawsuit also claims that the Lancasters didn't tell the Alis that the house also has poor insulation and ventilation and mold issues.

When we were outside the home Wednesday, so were several workers.

Steve Smith, an attorney representing the Lancasters, told us the couple is stunned by the allegations of fraud. Smith said his clients have done nothing but try to work with the Alis.

Some of the folks living in the quiet neighborhood also told us, they love the Alis and were also shocked to hear about the lawsuit.

Smith said the Lancasters spent a lot of money voluntarily fixing problems that Lonnie Ali alerted them to in order to help her get the house ready for sale. He said they even rebuilt a fence after it was discovered just inches over the neighbors property line.

According to Smith, the couple lived in the home for five years before the sale to the Alis without any problems.

In a statement emailed to us late Wednesday, Smith said the ten year old home has "no serious defects or conditions." He also said that a normal Greater Louisville Association of Realtors contract was used for the sale, and the Alis had the opportunity to have a home inspection done before closing. Smith went on to say his clients purchased a limited home warranty for as part of the purchase agreement.

Smith stated that he is not sure the Lancasters have any "legal obligation to work with Mrs. Ali. However he (Mr. Lancaster) has done so in the past and has continued to make every effort to satisfy their concerns." He said the lawsuit may force Lancaster "to reconsider further cooperation."

The attorney representing the Alis told us he can't comment on the suit, which seeks punitive damages and a jury trial.

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