Business owners generally expect their neighbors to think about the consequences of their actions before they act. Unfortunately, it appears the neighbors of an apartment complex in Galveston may not have done so.
The owner of Courtyard Apartments is dealing with major water drainage issues and damage since the Dickinson Independent School District (DISD) built the Sam Vitanza stadium and a parking lot next door. The apartment owner, Multi-Family Baker LLC, tried to resolve the problems with pooled water and poor drainage with the school district, its general contractor and architect with no success. They also tried to get DISD to correct damage the construction had allegedly done to its apartment trash area.
“Each [of the Defendants] knew that its failure to construct adequate drainage structures was causing storm water to drain to, and collect and back up in the Courtyard Apartments’ north parking lot,” Multi-Family Baker said.
DISD, Durotech GP LLC, Durotech Inc. and PBK Architects Inc. are now being sued in the 122nd Judicial District Court in Galveston County for not building drainage structures that would have allowed storm water to move northward from the Courtyard Apartments’ north parking area into drainage ditches to the east and west. Damage to the Courtyard Apartments parking areas and asphalt has occurred.
Texas Constitution Article 1, Section 17, “prohibits taking, damaging, destruction, or application of a person’s private property for public use without adequate compensation.” Multi-Family Baker alleges that DISD invaded its property, unreasonably interfered with its operation, and is in violation of the Texas Water Code. The Texas Water Code Section 11.086 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.” And, “a person whose property is injured by an overflow of water caused by an unlawful diversion or impounding has remedies at law and in equity and may recover damages occasioned by the overflow.”
Claims of negligence, interference, and trespassing occur in this case, and in many construction lawsuits. When working to resolve these types of claims it is usually advisable to hire an experienced construction attorney. An experienced construction litigation attorney should be able to cut through much of the extraneous material and work to determine the cause of construction-related problems whether they result from design errors or the disregarding of laws, permits, and building standards. This may involve the use of technical experts skilled in specific construction fields. It may also involve the use of economic experts to determine how the construction problems affected the value of the business in the short term, what damages were inflicted, and what funds will be needed to correct the problems.