Carrollton homeowners sue city over retaining wall damage

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 20 at 11:43 PM

Barclay Drive

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CARROLLTON — Three Carrollton families who spent the last two years fearing their homes would end up in a creek say they've now run out of options.

So they're going to court, attempting to force the city to repair a sinking retaining wall that's devastating their backyards and threatening their homes.

Every time it rains, their backyards sink a little lower.

"It's just getting worse," said Laura Brewer, one of the homeowners.

They've watched their backyards on Barclay Drive slip away for the last two years. Now they're running out of time and patience.

"We tried everything else we could think of," Brewer said.

Brewer and her husband joined two other families and filed a lawsuit against the city. They're claiming Carrollton set a precedent when they made repairs to the same wall down the street and picked up the tab.

"[The city's] lawyer says it would be against the law for them to help us, because it's private property," Brewer said. "But we believe they are responsible, because they fixed the same wall in 1996."

The lawsuit also accuses the city of negligence during 2005 construction to replace a sewer line on Dudley Branch Creek.

The homeowners claim when crews moved dirt, they covered small drainage holes in the wall. They believe over time, the soil became even more saturated, placing additional stress on the wall and causing it to fail.

"I'm very scared our house is going to slide down," said Petra Chudejova. "And I'm afraid my children will get hurt."

Carrollton's engineering manager has maintained all along that the wall is on private property, and it is therefore the homeowners' responsibility to make repairs.

On Monday, city leaders would not discuss the pending lawsuit.

The homeowners say the repairs could cost up to $75,000 at each of their homes.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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