DENVER (CBS4)– A Denver couple is struggling financially and emotionally three months after a wall on their home collapsed. Court Cagle and his wife, Cody Galloway, own a 2-story home on Glenarm Place.
In November 2014, the couple came home to find one of the walls had collapsed. Construction crews were digging a foundation next door and disturbed the dirt that was holding up their home.
“I walked up from the south side and there was light coming through from the north, so I knew the entire wall was gone,” Cody told CBS4.
The couple’s excitement over the arrival of their new baby is trumped by the stress of their evaporating savings and the loss of their home. A fence now surrounds the house because the city deemed it unsafe. The wall weighs 18,000 pounds and is leaning against the structure, so the city has placed an order to remove it.
“I felt like something bad was going to happen,” Court said.
Days before, they say they noticed JBC Enterprises digging and thought it would disturb the dirt under their older home’s shallow foundation. The couple says that they tried to prevent the horrible mistake by emailing the property manager. They claim they never received an email back.
Now rebar is exposed and the foundation of the home is eroded. You can see their things stored under the staircase of their home in plain sight, but what is most devastating is the loss of the nursery.
“The timing was horrible because we spent time working on the nursery,” Cody said.
Cody and Court are about to be first time parents. Cody who is due in a few weeks had spent many hours decorating the nursery. Now she’s had to throw together a new nursery in their rental home, using some borrowed furniture and baby goods.
CBS4 called the owner of the lot, but calls were never returned. We went to Sunlight Real Estate in Boulder, but were told the owner, Alan Cogen, was out of town. Cogen did respond to our email saying “I am doing what I can to cause the professionals who were responsible for the work to correct the damages”.
The couple’s attorney, Cass McKenzie says multiple people made many mistakes including big errors in the shoring plans that were filed with the city.
Andrea Burns, Communications Director for Denver Community Planning and Development, tells us the “International Building Code does not prescribe how shoring should be done.” She says the city does not review shoring plans, but they do make sure the plans were designed by a licensed engineer.
“We’re going to be taking a look at protocols in house and see if there are ways we can improve what we’re doing to prevent things like this from happening,” Burns said.
The couple could not get help from their homeowners insurance either. State Farm denied their claim. They sent us a statement saying, “Generally speaking, earth movement is excluded under our policy regardless of the cause. Whether it occurred from natural or external forces or occurs as a result of any combination of these”.
“Just feel very unsettled, like there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel, yet,” Cody said.
They have lost their house, their furniture, artwork, and everything else that makes a home, but still have each other and their baby on the way.