The Lower Neches Valley Authority has filed suit against the construction company it blames for allowing Hurricane Ike to damage its building when the company left a roof that was under construction unsecured during the storm.

LNVA claims it hired defendant McInnis Construction Co. to renovate a building it owned and used to operate the Southeast Texas canal system.

On Sept. 13, 2008, McInnis was working on the building when Hurricane Ike struck, according to the complaint filed Sept. 13 in Jefferson County District Court.

"Prior to departing from LNVA building and premises, McInnis and its agents failed to properly cover, secure and/or place protective tarps over their finished and unfinished work on the roof and ridge caps thereby allowing damage to the roof, exterior and interior of the building and its contents," the suit states.

As a result, LNVA suffered damages to its real and personal property, incurred extra costs and sustained other losses, the complaint says.

LNVA accuses McInnis of negligence, saying the company failed to safeguard and secure the building, failed to leave the roof in a safe condition, failed to advise LNVA of its failure to safeguard the premises and failed to take reasonable and proper steps in securing the roof.

In its complaint, LNVA is seeking a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Michael R. McGown and Mark Lambert of Benckenstein, Norvell and Nathan in Beaumont will be representing it.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B188-202

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