Now you see it, now you don't - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport family says city tore down wrong house


Now you see it, now you don't.

A Shreveport family says that is about the only way to describe what happened to their home.  Without their knowledge, they claim, and the city admits, to leveling their home – by mistake.

"I couldn't believe it.  I looked at the street.  I had to make sure I'm on the right street," says Barbara Wilson.  Barbara's mother owns the property at 1110 Zeigler Street in Shreveport's Allendale neighborhood.  The home was boarded up but, according to the family, was full of furnishings, appliances and family keepsakes.

"We come by every Sunday to check on the house," adds Wilson.  She says back in June of 2009, on a typical Sunday drive, the notice the home was gone.  Not a single brick, door nor window in sight.  Wilson says the following day she talked to a worker with the property standards department.

"She came out, " says Wilson, "and said I'm so sorry.  We made a mistake. We tore down the wrong house."

Wilson says in the days and weeks after the demolition of her mother's home, she spoke with the worker who says he leveled the home, Mayor Cedric Glover and the city attorney's office.  She says they all admit it happened and promised the situation would be handled.   However three years later, their lot on Ziegler sits empty and the city has not paid them a dime.

After repeated attempts to talk to the city attorney's office and the mayor, Shreveport's Director of Communications, Rod Richardson, sent us a response to their claim.  In part, it reads:

The City of Shreveport acknowledges that the claim was received, however, the failure on the claimant's part was in not filing a lawsuit within one year of the date of their alleged loss seeking compensation for any damages they believe they may have sustained as the result of the demolition."

Despite filing a damage claim with the city, filed under a 2009 damage claim number, the city says that alone does not meet their requirements.  Richardson adds a lawsuit would have to be filed before one calendar year before the statute of limitation expired.

"After all they did, they're still giving us a hard time," says homeowner Delphy Norman.  Wilson and Norman say they had no idea the clock was ticking on their claim.  They thought, with negotiations underway, the city was prepared to pay for their mistake.

"The mayor (Glover) said he'd take care of the matter, but we haven't heard anything from you.  It's not professional, haven't heard anything from you."

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