Homeowners say 5 Freeway project damaged homes in San Clemente

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Homeowners said a construction project along the 5 Freeway in San Clemente damaged their homes. (KABC)

Homeowners in a San Clemente neighborhood have filed a lawsuit after they said a multi-million dollar widening project along the 5 Freeway caused damage to their homes.

From cracks in walls and foundations, to misaligned doors and sloping floors, homeowners said they noticed damage appearing to their homes after construction by Caltrans and its contractor Flatiron began in January of 2015.

"Cracks in our ceiling, some of our doors weren't closing and opening," recalled homeowner Bill Babcock, who has lived in his home for 21 years.

James Schneider and his wife moved into their home around June of 2015.

"One of the things we noticed at dawn set is the crown molding began morphing," Schneider described.

Schneider said Flatiron told them their construction equipment was too far away to cause any damage to their home.

Babcock showed Eyewitness News a letter from Flatiron's insurance company, which stated, following an investigation, the damage was due to the house settling and unrelated to the work of Flatiron.

The letter said Flatiron was not legally liable for any damage.

But Babcock, Schneider and Rick Gautreaux decided to take legal action against Caltrans, Flatiron and the city of San Clemente.

"Recoup the funds that it's going to take to have a contractor fix it all," Gautreaux explained.

"A lot of the estimates that have come in from contractors and engineers, that's a very high number, over $100,000," Schneider said.

Eyewitness News reached out to Flatiron, but they didn't return our call. Caltrans said it couldn't comment on pending litigation and the city of San Clemente's city manager said the city hasn't been served, but had no authority over the project.
Related Topics:
homehome repairshomeownersI-5caltranslawsuitconstructionSan ClementeOrange County
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