Woman sues to recover pilings from damaged beach house

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 17, 2010, 3:46pm

GALVESTON - A Jefferson County woman alleges that Galveston County allowed Crowdergulf Joint Venture to access her property on the Bolivar Peninsula and remove materials from her storm-damaged residence without her permission, recent court documents say.

According to Elizabeth Varing's lawsuit, Crowdergulf unlawfully assumed dominion and control of the plaintiff's property in Gilchrist between March and April 2009 by removing and taking possession of more than 20 pilings which were once part of her beachfront home.

The suit was filed Nov. 15 in Galveston County District Court.

Varing's house was destroyed during Hurricane Ike in early September 2008.

Galveston County contracted with Crowdergulf to perform debris removal and recovery.

The plaintiff states that she wanted to keep the pilings, which were reportedly in good condition, so she can use them during the rebuilding process. She submitted a form to Galveston County requesting that no debris be taken from her property, stating she was solely responsible for the cleanup efforts.

"She did not depend on any government entity to assist her with those tasks," the original petition says.

Varing claims that Crowdergulf's heavy machinery destroyed her underground septic system as the company removed the pilings. She insists the said pilings were sold or reused.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks to recover at least $40,000 from the defendants.

She is represented by McPherson, Hughes, Bradley, Wimberley, Steele & Chatelain LLP.

Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 10-cv-4162

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