Couple Alleges Fraudulent Engineering Report - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Couple Alleges Fraudulent Engineering Report

Hubert and Joyce Smith's waterfront retirement dream home is now their nightmare.

"Financial, physical, emotional, mental, the whole works, it all plays on you," they say.

The Smiths dipped into their retirement to pay for massive repairs. Their insurance company gave them only $9,000 after their deductible on a half million dollar policy. They thought an engineer's findings of significant wind damage would guarantee them a larger settlement.

Their attorney, William Weatherly says, "The whole gable was ripped off the house. Wind, no doubt about it, absolutely wind."

Weatherly says the original engineer's report confirms that. And Weatherly accuses Rimkus Consulting, the engineering firm hired by the Smiths' insurer, of changing the report to benefit the insurance company.

"It said the house was racked and severely damaged by storm surge... totally different and there were clear alterations made, clear changes made in the report."

Weatherly says when the first engineer confirmed changes were made and his signature was forged, Weatherly filed a lawsuit for the Smiths. It asks a judge to restore the original engineer's report, and award the Smiths $5 million in damages.

"These engineering reports are critical. You have to get them. They have to be accurate and the thought that this is an error just blows my mind," Weatherly says.

The raised two story house was completely gutted and is now almost restored, but that is little comfort to the Smiths who feel they have been wronged.

"I think they have falsified some reports. They have certainly been non-cooperative in settling the claim. Oh, they did send me, excuse me, $9,000 to put on a $30,000 dollar roof. These people are trying to get out of paying a legitimate claim. We don't want anything that does not belong to us," says Hubert Smith.

The Smiths are suing Rimkus Consulting Group, a Houston company with offices in Jackson and Ridgeland. Also named is Rimkus engineer, Thomas Heifner, who the Smiths accuse of altering the original engineer's report.

An attorney for Rimkus says they have not received the lawsuit and have no comment at this time.

The Smiths' insurance company, Merit-plan and its claims adjuster, CGI Adjusters, are not named in the lawsuit.

byMarcia Hill

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Woman killed in wrong-way interstate crash identified

    Woman killed in wrong-way interstate crash identified

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 11:06 AM EDT2017-03-29 15:06:13 GMT

    The woman killed in a wrong-way crash on I-10 early Wednesday morning has been identified.

    More >>

    The woman killed in a wrong-way crash on I-10 early Wednesday morning has been identified.

    More >>
  • Woman reported missing in Biloxi

    Woman reported missing in Biloxi

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 10:27 AM EDT2017-03-29 14:27:27 GMT
    Lindsey Newman (Photo source: Biloxi Police Department)Lindsey Newman (Photo source: Biloxi Police Department)

    Biloxi police are asking for help finding a woman last seen March 9. Officials said Lindsey Newman, 30, was last seen in the 700 block of Beach Blvd. around 1 a.m.

    More >>

    Biloxi police are asking for help finding a woman last seen March 9. Officials said Lindsey Newman, 30, was last seen in the 700 block of Beach Blvd. around 1 a.m.

    More >>
  • Bus passenger seeks $25 million in damages from train accident

    Bus passenger seeks $25 million in damages from train accident

    Wednesday, March 29 2017 8:44 AM EDT2017-03-29 12:44:11 GMT

    A new lawsuit filed in the aftermath of the tragedy on the tracks near downtown Biloxi claims the driver of the bus stuck on the tracks "was an inadequately trained, unlicensed, incompetent or reckless." That suit was filed in Houston, Texas on behalf of Mary Hall, one of the injured passengers on the charter bus that got smashed by a CSX train. It asks a court to award Hall a minimum of $25 million in actual damages.

    More >>

    A new lawsuit filed in the aftermath of the tragedy on the tracks near downtown Biloxi claims the driver of the bus stuck on the tracks "was an inadequately trained, unlicensed, incompetent or reckless." That suit was filed in Houston, Texas on behalf of Mary Hall, one of the injured passengers on the charter bus that got smashed by a CSX train. It asks a court to award Hall a minimum of $25 million in actual damages.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly