In the continuing saga of the Woodridge Village fiasco, lawyers Jason Webster and Kimberley Spurlock have filed a new lawsuit on behalf of approximately 50 Porter residents who flooded on May 7th and/or September 19th in 2019. Webster and Spurlock previously filed lawsuits on behalf of Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest residents who flooded on those same days.
Beating Statute of Limitations
Webster and Spurlock filed the new suit on May 5th, 2021. Normally, a two-year statute of limitations applies in such cases, according to one lawyer I talked to. So these plaintiffs just beat the deadline.
Documents filed yesterday with the District Clerk of Harris County make many of the same allegations made in the Elm Grove and North Kingwood Forest flooding cases, with one crucial addition. These residents, who live on the west side of Woodridge Village, also claim that the defendants blocked drainage coming out of their neighborhoods, thus backing water up.
Legal Basis for Claims
Defendants allege that the proximate cause of flooding to their homes was an illegal impoundment of surface water caused by defective construction practices. They cite Section 11.086 of the Texas Water Code. It states that “No person may divert or impound the natural flow of surface waters in this state, or permit a diversion or impounding by him to continue, in a manner that damages the property of another by the overflow of the water diverted or impounded.”
In relation to the alleged “defective construction practices, plaintiffs claim “Negligence, Negligent Retention, Negligent Supervision, Negligence Per Se, and Gross Negligence for the May 7, 2019 floods.” Pages 14 and 15 of their complaint claim 34 separate failures.
Plaintiffs also claim Negligence, Negligence Per Se and Gross Negligence against the developer defendants for the September 19th flood. In regard to those claims, they list 29 separate failures relating to inadequate construction.
Plaintiffs further allege defendants created a nuisance and “trespassed” on their property. From a legal point of view, trespass includes “causing something to enter another’s property.” In this case, the something was water.
List of Defendants
Defendants in the lawsuit include the developers, engineering company and contractors. They include:
- Perry Homes, LLC (developer)
- Figure Four Partners, LTD (a Perry Subsidiary)
- PSWA, Inc. (another Perry Subsidiary)
- LJA Engineering Inc.
- Rebel Contractors, Inc.
- Double Oak Construction, Inc.
- Texasite, LLC
- Concourse Development, LLC
LJA Played Central Role
LJA played a central role in the flooding. Perry and its subsidiaries hired LJA to engineer the development and help supervise contractors to ensure they were working to plan. Plaintiffs allege LJA:
- Failed to follow the correct drainage guidelines for Montgomery County
- Failed to enforce the construction schedule
- Failed to provide adequate drainage
- Failed to adequately model the development
- Removed drainage channels
- Caused water elevations to increase downstream
- Failed to design adequate detention ponds
- Failed to use the correct hydrology method
- Failed to design emergency overflows
- Failed to comply with the soil report produced by Terracon Consultants, Inc.
- Failed to protect water runoff from flooding Plaintiff’s homes
- Violated the contractors duty and standard of care.
Plaintiffs Seeking Compensation For…
Plaintiffs seek compensation for damages including:
- Cost of repairs
- Cost of replacement or fair market value of personal property lost, damaged, or destroyed
- Loss of use of personal property
- Loss of income and business income
- Consequential costs incurred such as hotel accommodations and replacement costs
- Mental anguish and/or emotional distress
- Prejudgment interest
- Post judgment interest
- Attorneys’ fees
- Court costs
- Exemplary and punitive damages
Finally, the plaintiffs seek a jury trial to decide issues of fact in the case.
For Text of the Full Case and Expert Witness Report
Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/6/2021
1346 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 595 since Imelda
The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.