Suit blames welders for Galveston condo fire

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Oct. 6, 2009, 5:52am


GALVESTON – A Galveston homeowners' association blames two businesses for a fire that destroyed its condominium complex in June, recent court documents say.

Maravilla Homeowners' Association claims the misconduct and overall negligence of Adam's Welders and Hudak & Dawson Construction Co. led to a four-alarm fire within the Maravilla Resort Condominiums on Galveston's West End the afternoon of June 3.

"The defendants owed a legal duty to the plaintiff to exercise ordinary care," the lawsuit, filed Oct. 1 in Galveston County District Court, says.

According to the original petition, the defendants were performing construction work at the property.

It adds workers were welding handrails connected to the building, which had been almost fully rebuilt after Hurricane Ike, when some wayward sparks ignited the inferno.

A Galveston County Daily News article on June 4 reported that the blaze spread between the upper floors.

"Fire units from across Galveston County responded to the fire," the suit says.

It reportedly took almost four hours for firefighters to extinguish the fire, which gutted at least 60 units and inflicted extensive smoke and water damage to the property.

"The ensuing fire caused substantial damage to the condominium complex, virtually destroying many of the units there," the complaint says.

More than 40 people were left homeless.

The defendants are faulted for failing to ensure that sparks from the welding did not ignite the fire and disregarding the probability of danger associated with their work.

They are also accused of violating OSHA fire safety regulations and state criminal laws.

The suit solely blames Hudak & Dawson for collaborating with Adam's Welders despite knowing the partnership was inappropriate from the beginning.

The plaintiff insists that it has suffered losses of use, rental income, and value related to their condominium units thus seeks punitive damages and a jury trial.

Galveston attorney Tony Buzbee is representing the homeowners' association, and the case has been assigned to Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia.

Case No. 09CV1822

More News