Condo owner blames damage on unauthorized work

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Mar. 12, 2012, 10:47am

Galvestonian Condominiums

GALVESTON – A Galveston woman is suing her condominium association for letting a construction crew perform work on her unit without her permission.

Beryl D. Berry filed a lawsuit against the Galvestonian Condominium Association on March 5 in Galveston County District Court. She alleges the condo association allowed a construction company to perform work in her family's unit during the summer of 2010.

The B.D. Berry Exemption Trust is also a plaintiff in the case.

The suit alleges US Builders LP was given access to the vacation residence without informing the plaintiff, stating the defendant caused the home to sustain multiple damages.

Court papers show Jim and Jodel Berry, relatives of the plaintiff traveled to Galveston to celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary on July 9, 2010, and planned to spend the night at the condo in the Galvestonian.

They retreated to the unit after a dinner at Saltgrass Grill to discover the place "overwhelmed by the heat and stench in the room," the original petition says.

The suit states that "water was standing in the entryway, the air conditioning unit was off and mold was everywhere."

The Berry family learned the defendants brought in US Builders to perform work on the balconies on the complex though it "had no authority to enter the unit for this purpose and to allow their contractor access to the unit."

"There was no emergency necessitating this access," the original petition says."Access to the balconies was available by other means. Access was allowed for convenience."

A representative of the defendant allegedly told the couple that US Builders was responsible for the damages and that there had been similar problems in other units

The plaintiff contends the association "evidently" never inspected the home after the contractor accessed it.

"The thermostat in the unit had been knocked off, resulting in the air conditioning unit being cut off," the suit says.

"Needless to say, weeks of hot, humid air destroyed the unit and its contents."

US Builders's insurance carrier was informed about the condominium's state, but denied the claim, the suit says.

Attorney Andrew P. McCormick of Bellaire is representing the plaintiff.

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

Case No. 12-cv-357

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