Attorney Trey Wilson - RL Wilson Law

24 February 2009

R L Wilson, P.C. Clients the Subject of Rio Grande Valley News Story

Yesterday, R L Wilson, P.C. Law Firm clients Carl & Janel Parker and firm attorney Bob Schaezler were featured on a news story appearing on KVEO 23 -- the NBC affiliate in the Rio Grande Valley. The story concentrates on the pending litigation between the Parkers and their water provider, East Rio Hondo Water Supply Company (ERHWSC).

In July 2008 -- just days after Hurricane Dolly devastated the Rio Grande Valley, ERHWSC interrupted the Parkers' water service when they refused to grant the utility a 10' easement through their front yard. According to ERHWSC, the easement was needed for the installation of a new pipeline along FM 510 near Los Fresnos. When questioned about the need to place the easement just inches from the Partkers' front door and in the path of several trees cherished by the family (including a decades-old soft-shelled pecan tree), ERHWSC cited plans to "widen FM 510." However, these plans could never be confirmed by any non-ERHWSC source, and both Cameron County and TXDOT officials have indicated that no definite expansion plans exist, and that the funding for an expansion is not in place. Little details...

The Parkers, who are in their 80's, declined to give ERHWSC the destructive easement they requested. However, they offered ERHWSC a free easement of 5' in width. In response, ERHWSC disconnected the Parkers' water service -- even though they were current on all utility bills and had been ERHWSC customers for nearly 15 years. That's when the Parkers' daughter, who lives near Houston called me. Linda explained that, because of the culture of corruption in the Valley (her childhood home), she wanted an "outside" lawyer who was tough, knowledgable and experienced in water-related litigation.

After several unsuccessful efforts to reach a resolution with ERHWSC, we were forced to file suit against them for the purpose of having the Court Order that the Parkers' water service be reinstated. In August 2008 we successfully obtained a TRO compelling water service, and then moved the fight to Austin --- home of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ agreed with our position, and on November 22, 2008, issued an Order in which they found ERHWSC's disconnection of water unlawful, and ordered the ERHWSC to provide continuous and adequate water service to the Parkers -- irrespective of whether they granted an easement.

The fight has now returned to Cameron County, where the Parkers seek damages to compensate them for their time without water service -- weeks living off of irrigation cisterns and hauling water in containers -- and recovery of the substantial attorneys' fees and costs they've expended in responding to ERHWSC's illegal conduct. The case has been set for trial in Brownsville in May.

To see complete details on this suit, view my earlier blog post and a story that appeared in the Valley Morning Star newspaper on August 29, 2008.

Trey Wilson --Named By Scene in SA Magazine As One of San Antonio's Best Real Estate Litigation Attorneys -- September 2008 -- As voted on by peers