Keep an eye on your electrician.
The billboards are the creation of lifetime Houstonian Scott Van Dyke, who is locked in a big legal battle with the folks who did the repairs on his home after Hurricane Ike.
Not just any home. Van Dyke bought the old MD Anderson mansion in the Museum District.
“I wanted to get the message out that there is a lot going on behind the walls in my opinion that people are not aware of and could come back and either burn down their homes or even kill them,” says Van Dyke.
Lots of Houstonians are complaining about post-hurricane contractors these days. Van Dyke’s case in in the courts, waiting for a decision by the 14th Court of Appeals.
Van Dyke had stopped paying the bills when the cost of the work went way over what he was told it would cost. He got sued by the contractor.
That’s when he first learned a lot of the electrical work didn’t meet code and was dangerous.
The jury in Van Dyke’s case sided with the contractor and ever since Van Dyke has been on a mission, wanting to warn Houstonians to check the work as it’s being done.
The case also has raised questions about possible conflicts of interest.
The contractor fighting Van Dyke paid a member of the City of Houston electric board to help him win the case. The electric board polices fights over electrical work to make sure it’s safe.
“If a person is on the electrical board they should not be allowed to be a paid expert in an electrical lawsuit because the very reason the contractor is hiring him is because of his influence.”
The 14th court of appeals hasn’t ruled yet, but Van Dyke hopes the billboards can save a life.