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 Texas Flood Damage

In Texas,especially in the Hill Country, flooding is an every year occurrence.  The prospect of being flooded is only increasing with weather trends and more construction changing water paths and creating impervious cover. 

Some flooding is just an Act of God.  Some flooding, especially in Texas, can be caused by third parties.  Flooding causes can be blamed on home sellers, home builders, neighbors, commercial property owners, land developers and others.  

When home builders build on properties even though they are aware that the street or the neighborhood or the lot floods. One builder in Seguin, a major Texas home builder, was constructing a home and all that was completed was the slab.  A heavy rain came the street flooded and water rose above the level of the slab.  In response, the builder did the most incredible thing.  Instead of figuring out why the water flooded that slab and where it was coming from and what could be done to eliminate the water, the builder instead merely added a few inches of concrete to the existing slab. Instead of figuring out why the street below was flooding, the home builder just added a few inches of concrete to the slab which was easier and cheaper than paying an engineer and studying why the water could flood that street like it did.  So when the homeowners on that street bought houses, the builder never disclosed that they were aware that the street flooded.  In the first year, four homeowners flooded multiple times.  A lawsuit ensued and a trial occurred with the first punitive damage verdict in that county. Ever.  But no one.  Not a single person would trade the money in a lawsuit for multiple floodings.

This is the street when it flooded. 

 

In another case in Houston, a home buyer from Iowa looked at a house that backed up to a drainage ditch.  The seller's disclosure had some cryptic reference to 1 foot of water written in hand next to  "Located in a Flood Plain" which wasn't even the correct place for the information.  The home buyer asked his agent what that 1 foot of water meant in the margin.  The agent called the sellers' agent and the sellers' agent replied that the garage, which was lower than the house, had 1 foot of water in it during a big rain previously.  So the couple from Iowa bought the house.  One day, the buyer was mowing his grass in his front yard when his neighbor introduced himself.  The neighbor commented that he was surprised Mr. Iowa had bought the house knowing how much water had been on the street.  Mr. Iowa remarked he had a foot of water in the garage and at that, the neighbor took him to his house and showed him pictures and video of street flooding so bad that boats were moving up and down the street and people were rescued by helicopters.  There was even a picture  of the sellers being rescued in a boat in front of their house.   In actuality, there had been over four feet of water in the house.  A Harris County jury awarded Mr. Iowa his damages and punitive damages against the home sellers.  Here is the street that flooded.

Flooding in Texas is serious business and you may have rights to recover if it happens to you. 

Evin G. Dugas - Attorney at Law 512.261.0044 Evin@housedefects.com
2303 RR 620 South,   Suite 135 PMB 361,   Austin, Texas 78734
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