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Residents Along The 405 Say Construction Company Has Damaged Their Homes

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Construction along the 405 Freeway has caused more than just traffic nightmares.

Some residents along the route say the company responsible for the construction project — namely Kiewit — has been inadvertently damaging their homes.

The company denies the charge.

Looking into the denied claims, the County has approved an audit of the contractor.

A Kiewit official tells CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Bobby Kaple that they welcome the audit and says it will prove the homeowners were all treated fairly.

Kaple also spoke to several homeowners who also welcome the cases being looked at anew.

Homeowner Mack  Karimi said, “Besides the drilling and everything else the shaking of the house was very violent.”

Karimi has lived in his home for 15 years. Since construction began near his home, he says the foundation has actually started moving. He showed Kaple a series of inch-thick cracks that run along his house as proof.

He filed a claim for damages. Karimi says Kiewit came to his house, investigated and told him the cracks were “all due to weather and had nothing to do with construction.”

Kaple asked, “And your response to that?” Karimi replied, “It’s a joke.”

Robert Levy’s 90-year-old mother lives in another home along the construction route. The Levys also claim that new cracks are definitely tied to the constant drilling. “What you’re looking at here is a brand new crack that started after construction,” says Levy.

His mother filed a claim. Says Levy, “She got a form letter that said they looked at the situation — and they are not responsible. But if we want to file another claim with them, we can.”

County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky says Kiewit had rejected more than 75% of claims.

As a result of the complaints, Yaroslavsky has asked for an audit. “Residents that have experienced damage deserve a credible and honest assessment of whether the construction project damages their property,” he said.

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