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Texas city in hot water for knocking down homes, again

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - Fort Worth has been hit with its third lawsuit in a year from residents who claim the Texas city knocked down their homes by mistake.

Jorge Rodriguez this week filed a lawsuit saying the city wrongly destroyed his house in June 2013, his lawyers told local media.

But the city contends it was within its rights to knock down the house and had the appropriate approval from building authorities, Fort Worth spokesman Bill Begley said on Wednesday.

Rodriguez was renovating the house when the city sent out a letter saying it was set for demolition. He went to city offices and was assured the letter was a clerical error and that his home would remain intact.

A few weeks later Rodriguez went to the property and found the house razed.

Rodriguez is seeking $35,000 in damages for the home and the cost of the construction materials stored inside.

The city admitted last year that two other homes were incorrectly knocked down, WFAA local television reported.

The city settled one of those lawsuits last month, agreeing to pay a Fort Worth couple $62,500 for mistakenly bulldozing their home, according to the station.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and G Crosse)

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