VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WVEC) – Some former tenants who sued an apartment complex for damages after Hurricane Matthew have reached settlements.
Carmen Welsh is one of them. She now has a whole new meaning of home.
“Because it can be taken away from you just like that,” said Welsh.
She sat down with 13News Now in front of her new home in Virginia Beach, reflecting on the past year when Hurricane Matthew forced her out the former Waypoint at Lynnhaven Apartments.
“It was probably the worst thing I’ve ever, ever been through,” Welsh said.
Last October, the complex kicked out dozens of residents after asbestos and mold were found in units.
Many were left with only a few belongings after management went through most items in tents.
“Everything that we lost. A closet full of clothes, the tiny things you don’t think about,” Welsh said.
She sued management and after a long battle, reached a settlement.
“[The money] doesn’t touch what we lost,” Welsh said.
Attorney Cornelia Woodley with Byler & Sampson has represented more than 70 former tenants fighting to get money for lost or damaged items.
One of her clients lost $20,000 worth of items.
“We have been able to [settle] about a third of them,” said Woodley. “There’s still a lot of work left to do.”
Agreements in the settlements mean no amount details can be discussed, but Woodley said most clients are content.
“[Clients] have mostly recovered, so this is just getting closure for them for the most part,” she said.
Woodley said none of her clients plan to move back to the complex. It currently goes by the name “Sparrow’s Point” and touts a “recently remodeled” look, according to the website.