Louisiana Contractor Disputes Pay After Demolishing Wrong House

August 4, 2020

A Louisiana contractor has been in a tussle with city officials regarding payments for a demolition project after he accidentally tore down the wrong house.

“There was a big mix-up with the addresses and the information given to me and afterwards I was told something different so now I’m stuck with the financing of demolishing a house for free,” the contractor, Jamal Mosely, told The Advocate on Friday.

Hammond city officials say something different. Bobby Mitchell, the city’s code enforcement officer, said the instructions were clear, and the demolition order was for a vacant blue house, not a brown structure that Mosley tore down next to it.

The contractor claims the address given to him took him to the brown house. When he realized he demolished the wrong house, Mosley went ahead and also tore down the blue house, the newspaper reported. Now, he wants to get paid for both.

The owners of the house that was accidentally demolished had plans to take it down, both Mosley and Mitchell said. Mitchell suggested to city officials last week that Mosley gets his payment from them, but the contractor says he will continue to seek payments from the city.

There have been other complaints that the city’s demolition process is confusing, an issue Hammond councilwoman Carlee White Gonzales says officials have tried to solve. The city is now working on new protocols for demolitions to ensure contractors are fully certain about each project.

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