Insurance company tries to recoup $150K it paid for roof repair

Kelly Holleran Oct. 1, 2009, 8:10am

An insurance company says it was forced to dole out more than $150,000 to repair a metal roof that began leaking less than one year after it was installed.

Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Co. claims it made a payment of $155,123.98 to Preventive Medicines of SE Texas after its building located at 5875 North Major Drive in Beaumont developed leaks when rain penetrated the roof of its building and damaged the facility's interior.

Defendant Daniels Building and Construction Inc. was originally hired to construct the building, and defendant Terry L. Daniels served as project manager, according to the complaint filed Sept. 24 in Jefferson County District Court. In turn, they hired defendant James Stuart Construction to install the metal roofing, the suit states.

Construction of the building was complete in the spring of 2005 and leaking began to occur on Sept. 24, 2005, the complaint says.

Although not mentioned in the complaint, the date when the building began leaking was the day Hurricane Rita struck Southeast Texas.

The roof's leaking is due to an incorrectly constructed valley, which is where water from two roof panels drains, Fidelity and Guaranty claims.

"It is imperative that the valleys be properly installed because elements in the valley will be submerged under significant depths of water," the suit states. "On this particular roof, all of the water from the valleys must make a transition into a panel with a reduced width, causing the water depth to rise even more."

Sealant joints in the roof worked for a while, but could not stop leaks for long because of the roof's improper construction, according to the complaint.

Fidelity and Guaranty blames Daniels Building and Construction and Daniels for failing to supervise the construction of the roof, for failing to supervise the roof post-installation and for failing to properly complete the roof's construction.

The insurance company claims JSC failed to properly install roof panels to allow for proper dispersion of water, failed to properly install fasteners on the roof and failed to supervise the roof post-installation.

Allegations against the defendants include negligence, breach of implied warranty and breach of contract.

Fidelity and Guaranty is seeking a reimbursement of the money it claims it paid to Preventive Medicines, plus attorneys' fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief to which it may be entitled.

Joe A. Byrom and Jeffrey R. Cagle of David Klosterboer and Associates in Richardson will be representing it.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B184-985.

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