Galveston residents seek rent refund for Hurricane Ike

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 29, 2010, 2:46am

GALVESTON - Claiming they were not fully refunded for rent they paid prior to Hurricane Ike, two Galveston men are suing the owners and operators of their apartment complex.

In separate lawsuits filed Sept. 10 in Galveston County Court Nos. 1 and 2 respectively, Wilbur Lee and Earl Nelson claim that they paid defendants Sunchase American Ltd. and Pacific Galveston Properties L.P. rent for their units at the Island Bay Resort Apartments in early September 2008 and were forced to evacuate a few days ahead of the Category 2 storm.

Before the hurricane, Nelson lived at the apartments since 2000 and Lee was a resident of the complex since April 2005.

Ike made landfall on Galveston Island on Sept. 13, 2008, and destroyed the Island Bay Resort Apartments.

Both plaintiffs say the defendants notified them that no refund of any pro rata September rent would be issued and refused to return their security deposits in full.

"In addition, no written description or itemized list of deductions from the security deposit was ever provided by the defendants to the plaintiffs," the men's original complaints state.

Lee and Nelson allege that they suffered out-of-pocket expenses.

Consequently, their suits seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

They are represented by The Buzbee Law Firm.

Galveston County No. 1 Judge Mary Nell Crapitto is presiding over Nelson's case while Lee's suit has been assigned to Galveston County No. 2 Judge C.G. "Trey" Dibrell, III.

Cause Nos. 63,719; 63,720

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