Susan Sarandon sues over ‘extensive problems’ with $2m environmentally sustainable home

‘Thelma and Louise’ star claims construction management firm’s owner misrepresented his qualifications, inflated invoices and charged for construction work that didn’t take place

Isobel Lewis
Saturday 19 August 2023 15:43 BST
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Susan Sarandon has filed a lawsuit against a construction firm over alleged “extensive problems” in her Vermont home.

The Oscar-winning actor, 76, bought 45 acres of wooded and meadowed land in Stamford, Vermont, in 2018. Here, she built an environmentally sustainable home near the Massachusetts border, where she intended to spend her retirement.

On Thursday (17 August), however, Sarandon’s limited liability company The Right to Bear Farms filed a lawsuit against DeGrenier Contracting and Property Management in the federal court in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The lawsuit, obtained by Reuters, alleges that 47 issues were found with Sarandon’s property, which cost $2m (£1.57m).

Among the issues discovered by engineers, contractors and Sarandon’s staff, it claims, are mould, an unfinished primary bedroom ceiling, missing insulation and buckled siding.

In the filing, Sarandon described her “clear vision” for a home that would be “entirely off-the-grid”, with solar power, well water and geothermal energy “in light of increasing global environmental instability”.

However, she said that the Massachusetts-based construction management firm’s owner misrepresented his qualifications, inflated invoices, and charged for construction work that didn’t take place.

Sarandon claims that she paid nearly $140,000 (£109,900) for the company’s owner to act as the property’s caretaker under an agreement struck after the house was built.

Sarandon filed her lawsuit this week
Sarandon filed her lawsuit this week (Getty Images)

Under the lawsuit, the Thelma and Louise star is seeking unspecified damages based on claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraudulent misrepresentation.

The firm’s owner is yet to file a response and did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

In May, Sarandon was arrested while attending a minimum wage protest in New York.

The actor was one of eight arrested for disorderly conduct at a protest for the One Fair Wage organisation, which she is president of.

After demanding service workers receive $17 per hour, Sarandon was led away in handcuffs along with New York lieutenant governor candidate Ana Maria Archila.

In a statement, New York State Police said the eight individuals were arrested after “sitting and obstructing walking traffic” and ignoring instructions to move.

They were charged with one count of disorderly conduct and issued with tickets to appear at Albany City Court at an unspecified date before being released, police said.

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