Jason Webster, lead attorney for hundreds of Elm Grove, North Kingwood Forest and Porter plaintiffs in lawsuits arising from two floods in 2019, confirmed for ReduceFlooding.com that the defendants have reached a settlement agreement with plaintiffs. Defendants in the Elm Grove lawsuits included Perry Homes; Figure Four Partners LTD.; PSWA, Inc; LJA Engineering; Double Oak Construction, Inc.; Rebel Contractors, Inc.; Texasite, LLC; and Concourse Development, LLC.
Settlement Comes Two Years After Second Flood
Confirmation of the settlement comes almost two years to the day after sheet flow from Woodridge Village flooded Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest for the second time in five months.
Webster says the settlement agreement prohibits disclosure of the terms, but he did say that it was “…resolved to our satisfaction.” Webster says he and co-counsel Kimberley Spurlock, who also represented plaintiffs in the lawsuits, “…still have to communicate with the clients on this and we have not done so yet as far as amounts. That has to be determined by a special master which has been appointed to administer the settlement.”
However, Webster added, “All plaintiffs who participated in the lawsuit will receive a settlement offer.”
Hints of Movement Toward an Agreement in Early August
I first caught wind of a potential settlement from updates to the Harris County District Clerks’ website when Webster and Spurlock moved to establish an Elm Grove Settlement Fund and appoint a Master-in-Chancery in early August. Then, on August 16, Judge Lauren Reeder approved both the Fund and the Chancery motions. However, two defendants, LJA and Rebel, still objected. Interestingly, the Rebel objection contained a reference that it was not a party to a global settlement with the other defendants.
Then yesterday, an unsigned trial preparation order showed up on the District Clerk’s website. I emailed Webster and later that day, he confirmed the settlement.
Facing a trial on the merits of the case often brings defendants to the settlement table when they realize delays are no longer possible. I have been on jury panels for several cases over the years. Interestingly, in every single instance, the defendants chose to settle when the jury panel walked into the room to begin the selection process.
The settlement should come as a welcome relief for many plaintiffs who were devastated financially by the repeat floods.
Elm Grove activist Jeff Miller had this to say about the settlement. “I am thrilled for those that suffered greatly and hope that this settlement will discourage future negligence by bad actors.”
Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/10/2021
1473 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 722 since Imelda
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