Dickinson residents sue convenience store over flooding problems

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Aug 30, 2012

GALVESTON - Claiming a convenience store near their neighborhood is to blame for two years of flooding problems, a group of Dickinson residents have filed a lawsuit.

Roy Christopher Lopez and Stacy Schreiber-Lopez, Dale and Reta Warren, Allan and Rebecca Knape, and Larry and Kristen Gregory are suing Houston resident Ajay K. Jain, Vardhman Investment Inc. and Atul Enterprises Inc., doing business as Dickinson Food Mart #1 and Dickinson Food Mart, for "extensive" damage to their properties.

The original petition, filed Aug. 29 in Galveston County District Court, explains the complainants first noticed in the summer of 2010 that their backyards were not draining properly after storms.

According to court papers, the store and gas station underwent an expansion which "was out of compliance with its building permit as it had failed to install adequate drainage" and the defendants' construction of a cement swale to solve the problem "was tantamount to an admission that their property was in fact causing the problem."

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs' flooding situation "continued to worsen as the stagnant water led to mosquito problems, property damage both on the interior and exterior of (their) properties and a loss of enjoyment of (said) properties."

Dialogue between the residents and County Commissioner Kevin O'Brien over the issue at hand last March "was the last substantive" move at remediation.

The suit asserts the flooding "has progressively gotten worse" and the respondents hold a "total disregard for the plaintiffs' property rights through its negligence in construction and the defendants' multiple violations of the Texas Water Code."

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Bradford W. Irelan with Irelan Hargis in Houston is representing the complainants, and Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-1884

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