Tornado Damage in North Texas, Due to Shoddy Construction?

In late December, 2015, as many as 9 tornadoes touched down in North Texas causing tremendous amounts of damage, and killing 11 people. The storm was intense and powerful, but that may not be the whole story of the damage. Assessment teams on both a local and national level have discovered “rampant irresponsibleness” in the design and construction of many of the damaged buildings.

Timothy Marshall, a forensic engineer, told the Dallas Morning News, “We saw a tremendous number of improper attachment of walls to the foundations, which just made walls fall either in or out…like a house of cards”

A Donald Shields Elementary School, a Glenn Heights elementary school building had its foundation survive, but its walls had simply fallen off, exposing an interior that was described as “a tangled mess of wires, broken glass, drenched carpets and steel girders jutting menacingly from the ceiling.” And this, a building that should be safe enough to protect school children 180 days a year.


The elementary school had instances of walls simply nailed to the concrete foundation, with no attachment to the other walls or roof. Certainly not up to code, especially in the Tornado alley, where buildings must be able to comfortably withstand high wind speeds (without having their walls fall off).

The Dallas Morning News reached out to Ratcliff Constructions for comment, but calls were not returned.

Stories like this remind us that construction companies may not always be honest, but when you are walking through a house, it may be impossible to tell that these types of construction defects exist. If you feel that you have been taken advantage of by shoddy construction, its worth making a call to the Freeman Law Firm for a consultation.