Hurricane recovery company sues Port of Galveston over unpaid bills

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 23, 2010, 7:39am

GALVESTON - Alleging it was not fully compensated for performing storm cleanup at the Port of Galveston, DRC Emergency Services has filed suit against the Trustees of the Galveston Wharves Board.

DRC Emergency Services was hired by the defendant after Hurricane Ike to remove debris from the port, particularly vehicles belonging to cruise ship passengers, the lawsuit filed Nov. 19 in Galveston County District Court says.

Ike's storm surge swept through the area on Sept. 13, 2008, flooding hundreds of vehicles. The plaintiff and the wharves board entered into a contract more than a week after the Category 2 storm.

DRC Emergency Services removed, tagged and stored hundreds of vehicles in a secure vehicle containment lot for many months while the vehicle owners and insurance carriers were notified and proper steps were taken under state law concerning the abandonment of vehicles, the original complaint states.

The plaintiff claims it attempted to communicate with the port and its agents on issues ranging from assistance with documentation to proper billing, to no avail.

"To date, DRC Emergency Services has not been fully compensated for as provided under the terms and conditions of the contract which the Port of Galveston freely and voluntarily entered into," the suit says.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Shaun W. Hodge of League City is representing DRC Emergency Services.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss.

Case No. 10-cv-4182

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