Garlic Creek residents looking into legal action after gas leaks

More than 100 people who live in the Garlic Creek neighborhood in Buda have been dealing with gas leaks inside their homes since Friday.

Wednesday, several of them decided to seek legal action for the consequences they have suffered.

About 45 people in the Garlic Creek subdivision said they would like to file a lawsuit against whoever is responsible for the gas leaks. The problem is they aren't sure what company that is and, because they've been getting the run-around from every possible source of the issue, it's going to take some investigating before they can move forward.

Friday, Robyn Katz started noticing the smell of gas in her garage. The next morning she called the fire department and CenterPoint Energy to come out and make sure everything was working as usual.

“CenterPoint Energy came out and determined there was some gas floating around my water heater,” said Garlic Creek resident Robyn Katz. 

Luckily, Katz was able to afford to have a plumber fix the issue, but it cost her $445. What's even more unsettling than the chunk of change Katz and more than 100 of her neighbors have had to shell out, are the safety concerns.

“If these houses are emitting gas at an unsafe level, which apparently is what CenterPoint is telling us all, then who’s to say somebody isn't going to flick a cigarette near where the gas is being emitted,” Katz said. 

Many homeowners have had their appliances turned off altogether until the problem is fixed. Because of that, several of Katz's neighbors can't even live in their own homes.

“People are unable to be at their houses. They have no hot water, some people are staying at hotels or family members houses who don't live in the Buda area,” said Katz. 

CenterPoint Energy told FOX 7 over the phone that they are unable to repair customer-owned equipment. They suggested homeowners contact the real-estate development company that constructed their house instead, for Katz that's Meritage Homes.

In an email, a representative from Meritage Homes told Katz, "I apologize for all the inconveniences this has caused you, however, after further review of this incident, it appears to be a wide spread issue throughout the city of Buda. Many residents in Elm Grove and surrounding subdivisions are reporting the same problem. You will need to take this issue up with CenterPoint Energy as they will be the ones resolving this issue."

“The real issue is, and the real question is, where is this coming from? People just seem to be pointing fingers and forgetting that there are people that are not able to live in their houses right now,” Katz said. 

Now Katz is working to hire a forensic engineer to determine who is at fault for the gas leaks. That way she and at least 45 of her neighbors can take legal action.

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