Texas Consumer Complaint Center at UH Law Center offers assistance to victims of recent flooding

Volunteer lawyers and students can provide legal information and help after record month of rain which caused extensive damage across Texas

June 3, 2015 - The Texas Consumer Complaint Center at the University of Houston Law Center is offering legal assistance to those affected by recent flooding.

“Whether you are having a problem with a non-responsive insurance company, a shoddy contractor, a price gouging business, or a landlord who won’t repair your apartment, the center, staffed by lawyers and law students, will try to help,” said Professor Emeritus Richard M. Alderman, director of the Center for Consumer Law.

“The center has always seen its primary goal as using the resources of the Law Center to help the greater community, especially in times of need such as a flood, hurricane, or other disaster,” Alderman added.

May was Texas’ wettest month on record going back 120 years, according to state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon.

David Tiede, director of the Consumer Complaint Center, expects most early complaints to arise from tenant-landlord disputes over damaged personal property.

“Unfortunately, we tell people that most leases absolve landlords from liability in the event of flooding,” he said. “So, if a tenant doesn’t have flood insurance, he or she may be out of luck.”

In the near future, Tiede expects complaints from homeowners about unscrupulous contractors or faulty repairs.

“We tell people to be very, very careful about whom they hire,” he said.

Further down the road, Tiede said he expects the center to deal with car repair issues and complaints about unwittingly buying a car that had been damaged by flood waters.

The Texas Consumer Complaint Center does not legally represent clients, but provides information on their rights and options under the law.

People needing help with a legal issue stemming from the flood may file a form with the Texas Consumer Complaint Center at texasccc.com, or call 877-839-8422.

The Houston Bar Association also is hosting a LegalLine program to answer flood-related questions from noon until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3. Call 713-759-1133 to speak to an attorney.

University of Houston Law Center Media Contacts: Carrie Anna Criado, UH Law Center Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, 713-743-2184, cacriado@central.uh.edu; John T. Kling, UH Law Center Communications Manager, 713- 743-8298, jtkling@central.uh.edu; or Stephen B. Jablonski, Multimedia Specialist, 713-743- 1634, sbjablon@central.uh.edu.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 40,900 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

About the University of Houston Law Center

The University of Houston Law Center is the leading law school in the nation's fourth-largest city. Founded in 1947, it is a top-tier institution awarding Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. The Law Center is fully accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

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