DALLAS (CN) - Homeowners and businesses along a massive LBJ Express highway project in North Dallas claim in a class action that the enormous excavations are damaging their foundations.
Lead plaintiff Maria Cazares and 20 other homeowners sued 10 construction companies on Monday in Dallas County Court.
The plaintiffs live along the 13-mile stretch of Interstate 635 that is undergoing a five-year facelift. When completed, the LBJ Express will contain eight widened main highway lanes and six subsurface toll lanes, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, which is not party to the lawsuit.
"The plaintiffs and class members have endured loss of use and enjoyment of their properties, nuisance, trespass, loss of market value, loss of lateral support, and destruction to their homes and businesses from defendants' construction activities from deep excavation and ground vibrations affecting the soil that supports their structures and/or by vibrating the structures," the 17-page complaint states. "Defendants' construction activities such as pile driving, boring, blasting, heavy traffic loads, deep excavation, and/or dewatering produced differential soil settlement and strong levels of vibration which caused damage to the plaintiffs' and the class members' structures and improvements - in addition to the loss of lateral support from deep excavation through the class area and bordering many of the Plaintiffs and class members' homes."
They claim the project was defectively designed, so that the defendants "are strictly liable for the losses and damages caused by their activities - even if they exercised the utmost care to prevent the harm."
Named as defendants are Trinity Infrastructures, Ferrovial Agroman U.S. Corp. and four Ferrovial subsidiaries, Webber LLC; Archer Western Contractors, Craig Olden Inc. and Texas Shafts Inc.
LBJ Express and Trinity Infrastructure officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening.
The plaintiffs seek actual and punitive damages for negligence, gross negligence, breach of contract, nuisance, trespass and water code violations. They are represented by R. Christopher Cowan in Dallas.