Twenty homeowners in Lake Charles, Louisiana have filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart, its developer, and the construction company who put up a supercenter in their back yards. The petition for damages, filed in the 14th. District Court, claims that the defendants intentionally misrepresented their plans to neighbors as an office park, effectively silencing any opposition from neighboring residents to the annexation, rezoning, and development of the property through his false assurances that the development of the subject property would not offend neighboring residents. Robert and”Dee” Brantley have lived at their residence for the past ten years . During the construction of the Wal-Mart, Ms. Brantley was forced to seek refuge from the 24-hour-per-day construction noise by sleeping in her bedroom closet. At least one of her large windows was shattered by the construction activity; to this day, her windows remain boarded up in a losing battle to shield her from the constant noise and light emitted by her neighbor, the Super Wal-Mart. Their home flooded after the Wal-Mart was developed. Their once beautiful backyard now floods, and their property has significantly depreciated in value. The complain charges that Wal-Mart basically ignored plaintiffs complaints and built its Superstore as it wished with little or no regard for its neighbors’ rights. Wal-Mart instead chooses to run its 24 hour, 7 day a week store with little or no regard for its residential neighbors. In short, Wal-Mart is a horrendous neighbor to plaintiffs. The company totally leveled 25 acre wooded area, removing every tree or blade of grass to the limit of the property line. The natural flow of rainfall was altered and, as a consequence, some homes and yards were flooded. Neighbors are now constantly harassed and disturbed by the sight and sound of 18-wheelers and other vehicles at all hours of the day and night. Wal-Mart chose to place its store in a manner which would most interfere with the daily lives of plaintiffs who live near the Wal-Mart property. Such a deliberate use of its property constitutes an unreasonable use of land . The lawsuit claims homeowners have lost their enjoyment of property, suffered depreciation of value and property damage, mental distress and harassment.
For a copy of the Lake Charles lawsuit, or for contacts there, email [email protected] This lawsuit would be a good model for homeowners seeking to sue Wal-Mart for construction damages, etc.