Insurance Dispute Halts Restoration Work At Beauvoir

Restoration work at Beauvoir has come to a halt. And the reason is the same one many homeowners face - an insurance dispute.

The historic last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis had a three million dollar insurance policy. But the insurance company has only paid Beauvoir $180,000.

Now Beauvoir's Board of Directors are battling the insurance company and two out of state contracting firms over unpaid bills for temporary repairs.

Caught in the middle of it all are two builders from Saucier, Danny Hinds and his brother John, who have been left unpaid.

"The bottom line is this," Danny Hinds said. "We did the work at Beauvoir. We closed that museum in while everybody was freaking out around there because all the walls were blown out. All the artifacts were still lying there."

The Hinds Brothers specialize in reconstruction of historic buildings. Right now they're restoring an historic home in Ocean Springs. Last December, they went to work on the historic Beauvoir Library.

"My brother and I worked right through the holidays. That was our plan was to get that thing closed in and get all that stuff protected."

They got the job done, but say when it came time to get paid the $8100 owed them for the work, the trouble began.

"We worked Christmas Day, New Year's Day, we worked every day up to a 120 hours. When we started wanting our money, everybody came back from the holidays, the next thing we knew we were locked out the gate."

As happens with many big construction jobs, the Hinds Brothers are subcontractors, about three levels down on the food chain.

The Hinds were hired by KGL Construction out of New Jersey. When WLOX News called KGL Manager Kevin Kenerson, he said KGL was hired by Fireline Restoration of Tampa, Florida. Kenerson says Fireline owes his company $128,000 for work at Beauvoir.

So WLOX News called Fireline's Roy Marshall. He said Fireline can't pay KGL until it gets a check from Beauvoir or from Beauvoir's insurance company, St. Paul Travelers.

Attorney Robert Murphree said he doesn't believe Beauvoir owes anyone anything. Murphree showed WLOX News paperwork and letters he signed authorizing the repair work on the Jefferson Davis home, only after Fireline guaranteed it would be covered by the insurance company and not cut into Beauvoir's insurance payment.

Murphree says Beauvoir may have to sue St. Paul Travelers Insurance after receiving only $180,000 on a $3 million policy.

But none of the finger pointing does the Hinds Brothers any good.

"We did the work. We worked hard. We spent every penny we had working on that job. We left there with hardly any food and any money, desperate just to find something else just to put gas in our truck and they never paid us a dime," Danny Hinds said.