Seller of Chattanooga's highest-priced home drops lawsuit over canceled sale

Staff Photo by Dave Flessner / Bernice Sale, owner of this 23,000-square-foot home on Chickamauga Lake, voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday that had been filed against a California millionaire over an earlier agreement to buy the house for $17 million. The home was photographed in 2010.

Attorneys for the owner of Chattanooga's highest-priced home have dismissed a lawsuit against a California millionaire who decided against buying the house on Chickamauga Lake.

Bernice Sale, who is trying to sell her lakefront home in Harrison, filed a lawsuit last week against Christopher R. Redlich of San Clemente, California, after he terminated a sales agreement last month to buy Sale's home for $17 million.

But on Tuesday, Sale's attorney, R. Wayne Peters, filed a notice of nonsuit of the complaint, and Hamilton County Chancery Court Judge Jeff Atherton accepted the voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit.

Although Sale's attorneys initially claimed Redlich had breached an agreement reached in December to buy the site, the lawsuit was dropped after attorneys for Redlich claimed that deed restrictions on the property were not properly disclosed in the agreement and the sales contract was not binding.

Redlich, the chairman of Healthcare Healing in California, put down $1 million in earnest money to Sale for the property purchase in December. It was not immediately clear Tuesday if that money was being refunded, and attorneys involved in the case did not response to inquiries about any settlement.

Sale's 23,000-square-foot home at 6500 Solitude Drive has been on the market for most of the past year with a $16.5 million asking price, which is nearly twice as much as what any home has sold for in Hamilton County, according to the county Register of Deeds.

Last fall, David and Kim Duplissey sold their 17,772-square-foot house along 26 acres on the Tennessee River at 502 Browns Ferry Road in Tiftonia for $8.7 million -- the highest price paid so far for a home in the Chattanooga area.

Sale's lakefront house in Harrison, which Bernice and her late husband, David, erected in 2007, includes six bedrooms and multiple living and dining areas, pools and game rooms on four levels overlooking Chickamauga Lake.

James Perry, the real estate agent listing the lakefront mansion, said on his website that the home is "by far one of the finest estates in the country."

"The cost of construction on this estate was $40 million in the year 2007 (when it was built)," Perry said in his description of the property. "The subject quality compares to a smaller modern-day Biltmore."

Contact Dave Flessner at or 423-757-6340.