Texas homeowner sues demolition company that tore down wrong building following tornado damage

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by Jay Pate

The owner of a duplex home in Rowlett, Texas that was mistakenly demolished following a recent tornado outbreak has filed a lawsuit against the demolition company. According to the lawsuit filed by homeowner Lindsay Diaz, Billy L Nabors Demolition failed to perform due diligence when it accidentally tore down the wrong home in a tornado-damaged Rowlett neighborhood.

After tornado storms struck the Dallas area in March 2016, Nabors Demolition was hired to tear down a storm-damaged home at 7601 Cousteau Drive in Rowlett. However, the company accidentally went to another home at 7601 and 7603 Calypso Drive just a block away. Nabors Demolition blamed a Google Maps error for leading them to the wrong address.

Diaz says that although the duplex at 7601/7603 Calypso Drive had also suffered tornado damage, she hoped to be able to fix the building, and was waiting on a FEMA estimate before starting repairs. However, those plans were rendered moot when the structure was accidentally demolished by Nabors Demolition.

Nabors CEO George Gomez said that the demolition crew that was sent to the storm-damaged home thought that they had torn down the correct structure until they were informed of their mistake. Gomez added that the mistaken demolition “was not a big deal”.

Diaz tried to contact Nabors following the incident, but says that the company would not return her calls. After thousands of local residents responded to the story on Facebook, Diaz says that the company finally got in touch with her to offer an apology.

Since then, however, Diaz alleges that attorneys for Nabors have refused to agree to a full settlement for the mistaken demolition. In addition to tearing down the duplex, Diaz also says that Nabors damaged the foundation of the property. Because insurance repair estimates were based on the cost of repairing the home, Diaz will be forced to cover the total cost of rebuilding.

An attorney representing Diaz in her lawsuit against the demolition company says that Nabors was negligent for failing to ensure that they were at the right home before starting the tear down. “If you’re in a business of demolition, especially of homes, you need to have more due diligence. I think it was gross negligence. I think they should have taken additional steps to make sure they were tearing down the right home.”

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