Galveston couple claims surveys were falsified

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 13, 2010, 6:12pm

GALVESTON - A Galveston County couple has filed suit against a League City surveyor over a couple of allegedly falsified surveys conducted nearly 10 years ago.

In a lawsuit filed Aug. 31 in Galveston County District Court, Ernest and Beverly Wren claim that James Gartrell Jr. "exhibited a conscious indifference to the plaintiffs' rights and/or welfare" through negligently prepared surveys

The Wrens hired Gartrell in September 2000 and then again in October 2001 to survey their property in Dickinson.

The first survey cost around $1,140 and the second about $600, which the plaintiffs insist they paid upon the closing of each surveying phase.

It was a third survey done in August 2005 that concerned the Wrens, the suit asserts.

According to the original petition, the most recent survey - prepared by Texas licensed surveyor Christopher Trusky for Texas American Title Company - included additional notes on the blanket pipeline easement issues to clarify that no pipeline easements were on the property.

The Wrens claim they learned Gartrell misrepresented the original two surveys which noted non-existent acreage and improperly located the residence on the premises, the suit says.

Meanwhile, the property was sold twice between June 2005 and March 2006 for a combined total of $800,000.

Consequently, the plaintiffs seek to recover numerous economic damages.

They are represented by attorney John H. Crooker III of La Marque.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox.

Case No. 10-cv-2512

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