Headlines: Yale St. Bridge Rebuild; Houston Food Truck Directory

Photo of Esperson Building roof: Jackson Myers via Swamplot Flickr Pool

10 Comment

  • Title policy is the biggest scam on the planet. Once they pull title and all pertinent public records, they can almost guarantee that they will have no loss, there is no long term risk. A car insurance company pays out at least 50% of their premiums for claims and take an ongoing risk, but a title company pays roughly 1% of premiums in claims and only if there’s human error involved in research.

  • The price of title insurance is frequently too high. No doubt about that. However, title insurance is a valuable and necessary resource, especially given that most property owners neither understand property law or know how to research title on their own…and given that it really should be a service provided by a disinterested third party rather than by a principal or their lender.

  • As a card carrying member of the left and an opponent of the tort reform movement, I have to say that the Texas Trial Lawyers Association is completely out of line in opposing legislation to give utilities immunity from injury claims by people using trails on utility easements. First, I have never heard of anyone getting injured by a power line or gas line while using an easement. It is not like hospitals are filled every weekend with electrified runners and mountain bikers. Second, municipalities could have liability if they maintain the trails and are made aware of a downed powerline. Third, the benefit of opening up north/south connections between the bayous far outweights the very, very remote chance that a live powerline would fall and injure someone. People are one billion times safer running on a utility easement than on the streets with Houston’s oblivious, drunk, texting drivers. I hope the bike/running organizations will mobilize to tell the TTLA to back off on this one.

  • commonsense: Not only that, but I’ve had properties bought/sold and change hands only months from each other. Heck, sometimes weeks, or days. Once even a few hours.
    But title had to be paid for twice. Yeah, they’re not hurting. That said, while they may only pay out $x, that doesn’t mean they’re making 100% -x margin. They still have costs to issue the policy that go above the payout of claims.

  • Here’s the thing Old School. If the chances of being injured using the utility easement are so miniscule then why would Centerpoint be so adamant about having to be made immune from them. The wording of the legislation would effectively mean that they could cause an injury entirely through their own negligence and yet be completely absolved of any responsibility. As another card carrying lefty that doesn’t seem right to me.

  • What about the Yale St. bridge? Isn’t that a landmark? Damn Wal-Mart!

  • Jimbo,

    As centerpoint would receive no benefit from opening up their right of ways (other than general goodwill) to the public, why should they bother incurring all the risk of lawsuit. Its only natural for them want to avoid that risk so if the trial lawyers are adamant about putting all the risk on them, no hike or bike trails. Maybe the public is safer, but trial lawyers don’t care about safety, they care about lawsuit payouts.

  • @Jimbo: Centerpoint is giving away access to their easements for free. No for-profit business in the world would open up their premises to the public just to be nice. In fact, when property owners grant each other ROWs or easements for access, they always require indemnification. Immunities are good public policy if they encourage things that are in the public interest. That is why we have things like good sammaritan laws, to encourage people to render aid in an emergency. The main benefit of trails on easements is that it will get runners, cyclists and walkers off the roads. That is a huge benefit. Just today there was an auto/bike fatality in Houston. The benefit of giving people space to run/bike out of traffic far outweighs any risk of injury from a fallen powerline.

  • Brian,

    It’s not unusual for a landmark to be torn down and rebuilt similar to the original structure. Many plantations, government, and school buildings in Louisiana that were labeled as historic have been completely leveled and rebuilt.

    The more important question to ask is will the new bridge be built to look like the existing bridge?

  • I actually used my title insurance policy if you can believe that. An unpaid contractor sued me and the defunct builder of my house for non-payment about a year after I bought the new house. Even wanted a lien against my property. I called the title insurance and they took care of it, no questions.