Neglected roof job causes double damage for homeowner

Kelly Holleran Mar. 11, 2009, 9:54am

A Beaumont homeowner has filed suit against a roofer for allegedly failing to finish a $1,700 job which eventually caused $30,000 worth of damage to the house.

Tyrone Thompson claims he hired John Zeno to repair his roof at 3445 Cherry Road in Beaumont in April.

Under the terms of the agreement, Thompson paid Zeno $850 down and would pay another $850 after the work was finished.

However, after entering into the agreement, Zeno failed to show up, according to the complaint filed March 6 in Jefferson County District Court.

"After two months passed, Plaintiff telephoned Mr. Zeno, who claimed that he had forgotten about the job," the suit states.

Thompson alleges Zeno showed up for work the following day, on June 13, and placed two rolls of temporary felt on the roof to stop it from leaking.

Once again, Zeno vanished before having completed the roof work, according to the complaint.

"After another month of him not showing up, Plaintiff located Mr. Zeno at his residence and asked for his money back," the suit states. "Mr. Zeno refused and told Plaintiff he would begin the job the next day."

But Zeno failed to show up, Thompson claims.

Meanwhile, "heavy and turbulent weather" came through the Beaumont area and took the felt covering off Thompson's house. That allowed water to seep into the home and caused extensive damage to his flooring and drywall, according to the complaint.

In order to fix his home, Thompson claims he will have to spend $30,525.85.

Later, Thompson spotted Zeno at a casino and demanded a refund of his money.

"Mr. Zeno, appearing intoxicated, threatened Plaintiff and refused to give him the money back or complete his work," the suit states.

Thompson claims R.O. Williams and Company and Old Republic Surety Company owe him $15,000 because Zeno obtained a bond in order to perform work on Thompson's home.

"The bond insured to the benefit of any and all persons who sustain any loss or damage on account of any failure by Mr. Zeno to conform to the regulations of the City of Beaumont in performing his work," the suit states. "Further, the bond provided that any person sustain any loss or damage due to Mr. Zeno's failure to conform to City of Beaumont regulations and ordinance was allowed to bring suit on the bond against Mr. Zeno and any sureties."

Thompson is seeking a judgment within the jurisdictional limits the courts, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs, mental anguish damages and further relief to which he may be entitled.

He is represented by Mitch Templeton and Collin D. Cobb of Chambers, Templeton, Cashiola and Thomas in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Case No. D183-490

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