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Woman whose house was mistakenly demolished taking legal action against contractor

2 months 1 week 21 hours ago Wednesday, March 13 2024 Mar 13, 2024 March 13, 2024 5:15 PM March 13, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

PORT ALLEN -  A woman is suing a contractor who mistakenly knocked down her Port Allen home that has been standing for decades. 

In May 2023, Ernestine Smith's home was wrongfully demolished. Smith's father built her the house in 1959. 

Her neighbor's home was supposed to be torn down, but Smith's was instead. Legal action is being taken against Shawn Jackson, the contractor who supposedly knocked down Smith's home. 

Port Allen Mayor Richard Lee says this is a battle between the two property owners and the city is not involved with the situation.

Instead, the city advised Smith to get a lawyer, which she recently did. Smith's attorney Michael Jones Jr. sent Jackson a letter requesting compensation for the damage done, amounting $130,000. If Jackson does not abide within 15 days, the situation will go to civil court.

"I would like to get my money back because my husband said it will cost $40,000 just for materials to build it back like it was," Smith said.

Information obtained by WBRZ shows that a permit to demolish Ernestine Smith's, or her neighbor's home, was never filed. After the contractor realized the address mistake, a permit was then filed for the correct house June 1.

The permit filed with the city lists a tree service company as the insured company for the project, but when called, the owner of that company says he has no idea why his company is the one listed, as he has never worked with Jackson before.

Shawn Jackson was not located on a list of licensed Louisiana contractors.

WBRZ asked Jackson for comment but he refused and denied any responsibility.

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