Homeowner claims I-4 Ultimate construction damaged house

An Orange County man says cracks in his home are from I-4 ultimate construction

ORLANDO, Fla. — A judge will soon decide if a group of homeowners can sue together in court for damage they claim was caused by I-4 construction.

Randy Halterman claims cracks in his 1920s house weren’t there before I-4 Ultimate construction began next door.

“We brought them out and we showed them the cracks in the ceiling, the cracks in the walls,” he said.

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A lawsuit claims crews pounding in pilings nearby, compacting dirt with vibrating rollers and other construction activities caused it.

“The glass in the windows is vibrating and I mean, this would go on, sometimes into the middle of the night,” he said.

Halterman said he filed a damage claim with SGL, the contractor constructing the I-4 Ultimate project, but was denied.

Data from the Florida Department of Transportation shows at least five homeowners have filed damage claims as of October. All were denied.

The lawsuit states there are around 40 people, including Halterman, whose homes have been damaged by construction activity.

“I’m going out to people’s houses. I’m looking at the damage. A lot of the damage is very similar,” said Louiza Tarassova, the lawyer representing the clients in the suit.

Tarassova said she decided to file the suit when she learned homeowners needed photos proving the damage wasn’t there before and engineering reports showing the construction caused it.

“They are asking for homeowners to prove every single type of damage and that means thousands of dollars,” she said.

SGL said it cannot comment on the lawsuit.

A judge will decide whether homeowners’ damages are similar enough for a class action.