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Todd English takes couple to court over house problems

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todde.jpgTodd English is embroiled in another lawsuit, but this time it's the chef who's stirring the pot. English, whose restaurant empire has faced an array of lawsuits in recent months, mostly over unpaid bills, is suing a couple who sold him their Beacon Hill house in 2007. The chef contends Kenneth and Clarisse Zalcman, along with their real-estate broker Daniel Mullin, misrepresented the condition of the house at 81 Chestnut St., not telling English that the structure's foundation was rotted on three sides. The case was due to go to trial this week, but was delayed when Judge Lloyd Macdonald recused himself. In the suit, English claims that before buying the house for $2.9 million, he explicitly asked about the foundation because some neighboring properties had a history of problems. Attorney Danielle de Benedictis, who's representing English, said her client was assured there were no problems, but there were. English, who's since sold the house (for $3.5 million), ended up making repairs totaling more than $300,000, according to de Benedictis. The attorney for the Zalcmans calls the chef's claims half baked. Anil Madan says an inspector picked and paid for by English warned of potential problems, but the Olives owner never followed up. Instead, English signed a purchase-and-sale agreement accepting the house as is, according to Madan. "We're going to try the case because my clients are being accused of all kinds of stuff and they've done nothing wrong," he said.

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This blog features the latest local and national celebrity news from The Boston Globe's Names column team. Check back for the latest updates.
Mark Shanahan joined The Boston Globe in 2003, having worked previously at the Portland Press Herald, where he covered City Hall, and the Lewiston Sun-Journal, where he was the education reporter. A Northampton native and graduate of Bates College, Shanahan enjoys the usual - books, music, movies, etc. - as well as the unusual.
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Meredith Goldstein has worked for the Globe since 2003, covering everything from nightlife to New Kids. She keeps her eyes peeled for celebrity juice, and also writes Love Letters, a Boston.com blog for hopeful (and hopeless) romantics. Meredith chats about love problems every Wednesday at 1 p.m. If you see Justin Timberlake or someone like him at a local eatery, please e-mail her immediately. mgoldstein@globe.com
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MeredithGoldste

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