Morrisville man says he has yet to be paid for water damage caused by crews for Google Fiber

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- UPDATE: After this story aired, Daswani and Hyper Networks reached a financial settlement to resolve the case.

When work is being done in your home or apartment and damage is caused by the crew, who pays?

Morrisville resident Anil Daswani says he's been fighting the battle ever since a crew for Hyper Networks, a sub-contractor for Google Fiber, caused water damage in his apartment in May.

"They accidentally tripped on something in the attic. That set off the fire alarm and then set off the sprinklers and the next thing I know, there is a shower of water flowing into our apartment master bedroom -- the closet where our clothes were," he said.

Daswani documented the water damage and says he shared his concerns with the two companies.

A restoration crew did dry out the apartment and had big fans blowing throughout the apartment while they worked to fix the damage.

"This was running for eight days there was no way we could sleep over there," Daswani said. He wanted to stay in a hotel with his family while crews worked since he also had COVID-19 concerns.

"We were more cautious than other families because we have a child with special needs," he said.
Daswani says he was told he would have to pay for the hotel and then be reimbursed, something he wasn't comfortable with.

"Now I have to deal with this. It's enough I have to deal with all the damage, now you are telling me to run after you for my hotel bills too. So all said in done, we had to manage with our friends," he said.

Shortly after the incident occurred, in May, Daswani turned into Google Fiber and Hyper Networks for the amount he wanted to be reimbursed -- which totaled more than $15,000.

Some of the costs included being reimbursed for time lost at work and with his family, the electricity bill charges while crews were inside his apartment, laundry for items he had to clean that had water damage, replacement cost for suitcases that he said were damaged during the incident, and accommodations for staying with family friends.

"Here we are nine weeks later and I still haven't been compensated for my damages," he said in July.

Troubleshooter Diane Wilson reached out to Google Fiber who provide this statement: "We apologize for any inconvenience for residents during our construction process. While we can't comment on a specific case, Google Fiber strives to be a good neighbor, working to minimize disruptions in neighborhoods and taking complaints seriously. If anyone is experiencing issues, we want to hear from them. Our construction hotline is open 24/7 at (877) 454-6959. We welcome questions and concerns and work with residents to resolve issues as quickly as possible, as we are doing in this case."

Wilson sent several emails to Hyper Networks, but never got a response back.

But Daswani finally did. He says Hyper Networks did offer him a settlement, but it's not the amount he wants.

"It's very disappointing how it goes between one and the other and it's just not adequate consideration for the ones who were affected."

At this point, Daswani says he will not take the amount Hyper Networks offered to him.

The best advice when damage is done to your home or apartment by crews working -- document everything. Make sure you take pictures, videos of the damage, and get everything in writing regarding if they will take responsibility and what they will cover. For any expenses that impact you due to the damage, get receipts and provide those to show proof of loss.
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