Galveston Bay property owners sue over crack in protective barrier

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Oct. 7, 2009, 3:56am

Sailboat on Galveston Bay

GALVESTON – Two couples are suing a Houston real estate management company after they discovered cracks in the barrier that was supposed to protect their property from the waters of Galveston Bay.

In a deceptive trade lawsuit filed against Sea Isle Holdings on Sept. 29, Kendall Kinchen and Ginger Marshall of Bandera County and Joseph and Susan Gelardi of Harris County allege the defendant was negligent in the design and construction of an aluminum bulkhead that lines the plaintiffs' parcels of land on the city's West End.

Court papers show the complainants purchased their plots, which face Galveston Bay, from Sea Isle Holdings three years ago. The defendant built the barrier prior to the sales, and guaranteed its soundness and durability.

"Prior to the purchase of these two pieces of real property by the plaintiffs, the defendant, Sea Isle Holdings, constructed a bulkhead on the plaintiffs' real property to control the effect of Galveston Bay on the plaintiffs' real property," the original petition says.

"The defendant was a business entity which, in addition to other business activities, built bulkheads. The defendant held itself out to the public as having knowledge or skill peculiar to that business.

"Accordingly, the defendant impliedly warranted that the bulkhead would be merchantable; that it was reasonably fit for the purpose for which it was to be used; and that it could pass without objection in the trade under its contract description."

However, the plaintiffs claim they noticed a huge crack in the bulkhead in March 2008.

"The plaintiffs suffered damage thereby and were required to replace the aluminum bulkhead and incur the cost necessary for replacement of said bulkhead," the suit says.

Sea Isle Holdings is ultimately accused of using improper materials to manufacture the barrier.

"The materials the defendant selected for the plaintiffs' bulkhead did not meet the industry standards for the geographical region and conditions presented by the plaintiffs' real property," the suit says.

Consequently, the couples seek unspecified monetary damages.

Houston attorneys Jordin Nolan Kruse and Jack D. Nolan are representing the plaintiffs.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner.

Case No. 09CV1802

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