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Home left with extensive water damage after bathtub installation

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jan 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-27 18:24:32-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A man from Grand Rapids says he hired a company out of the Detroit area to install a $16,000 walk-in bathtub, only to have it leak and cause substantial damage to his home.

John Vanderstel wanted the tub because wife suffers from myotonic dystrophy, which causes muscle wasting and weakness.  He also had the tub installed to help his 83-year-old father, who lives with them.

"They have a really hard time getting in and out of the tub," Vanderstel said. "I practically have to carry her over it, because she just can't make it over the step."

Getting older himself, Vanderstel decided in July 2014 to make life easier for himself and his family by having the walk-in bathtub installed. It was an expensive solution that quickly became problematic.

"Water was coming down from the walls and down from the ceiling and pocketing in the walls and bulging out," Vanderstel said.

The second bathroom, located directly below the one where the walk-in-bath was installed, has been an eyesore for nearly six months. The plaster is ripped off along the top border, and Vanderstel is concerned about the mold that could be growing underneath.

While America's Best Bath of Sterling Heights installed the tub, it's doing little to fix the problem, Vanderstel said. He told the FOX 17 Problem Solvers that the company sent someone out to evaluate the damage, but they only fixed a pipe.

As for the water damage hidden deep within the walls, he said, they told him to contact his homeowner's insurance company.

"They told me my rates would go sky high if I turned that into them," Vanderstel said of the insurance company. "I don't think it's fair that I should have to pay for their problems that they caused."

Vanderstel said he's tried contacting America's Best Bath numerous times, and they won't answer or return his calls.

FOX 17 attempted to reach out to the business on Tuesday, but had to leave a message.

When looking into America's Best Bath, FOX 17 found it is accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an A-minus rating.

Vanderstel wants the business to contact him and to fix the problem that he says wasn't at his home prior to hiring them.