Hattiesburg man's house falls to its death

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM) -  Edward Peerboom's house on Sis Circle in Hattiesburg has flooded five times in eight years, but its current condition can't be blamed on mother nature.

"We decided to have the house elevated," said Edward Peerboom, owner of the house.

Peerboom says he hired Absolute Foundation Solutions, an elevation and foundation company out of Ridgeland, to elevate his house two feet in order to continue his flood insurance, in July of 2009.

"We checked with the company to make sure that they were licensed and bonded and insured. We actually went a step further and had our insurance company contact their insurance company to make sure they were insured in fact for the kind of work they were doing," said Peerboom.

According to Peerboom's then insurance agent, Jay Walker, the company said it had General Liability Insurance for the job they were hired for. Peerboom said everything seemed in order, so the company proceeded with the job.

"With in the first couple of weeks they came out and started their job. They had the house elevated 2 feet above the ground. They decided to go to break and have some lunch, then the house slipped off the jacks and completely ruined the house. It's completely totaled," said Peerboom.

Peerboom says the workers were still on break when his wife drove by, and noticed something was wrong with the house. She called Peerboom to come have a look, and that's when they knew their house had fallen. Once the workers returned from lunch they had no explanation.

"They didn't know what had happened. Cause they were not here when it happened. We have had engineers come out and look at it to try to determine what happened . We really have gotten no rock solid answer," said Peerboom.

After months of contractors and insurance agents trying to find the cause, Peerboom says the foundation company's insurance informed him they wouldn't cover the damage. And his own insurance dropped him.

"They felt like the company was working on the house and not the foundation, or the foundation and not the house. So, that gave them a way out to not pay for it," said Peerboom.

Peerboom says even with legal representation he has been battling with the company for more than two years to no end. Even when his case was taken to court, the judge ruled in favor of the foundation company.

According to the case, without clearly defining whether the house falling was an "occurrence", or "accident" it is ruled a "business risk" , which means Peerboom is left with his damage house.

"It feels like no matter what you do you are going to get screwed," said Peerboom.

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