Elderly cancer patient says contractor scammed her out of thousands on Harvey repairs

DEER PARK, Texas (KTRK) -- A Deer Park woman struggling with cancer is now also fighting her contractor.

"He basically demoed things and left with her money," said Carrie Harney, Charla Goodwin's daughter.

Her floors are concrete, her master bathroom is a disaster and insulation is falling through the ceiling.

It's all a mess still lingering from Hurricane Harvey, when an out-of-state contractor promised he'd fix up her home.

"I just feel helpless," Harney said, as she continues her mission to help make her mother whole.

Hurricane Harvey flooded her mother's home with 10 inches of water.

"It started in the back with her master bedroom, and it just kind of moved forward throughout the whole house," Harney said.

The family says contractors from FEMA came to help, but blew her electrical panel.

"She went through the whole summer with no air conditioning," Harney said.

Then a contractor from Louisiana came knocking, making big promises. Goodwin paid him more than $19,000. She says he only worked on her home for four days.

"There's a lot of things that the contractor did not do that he should have done, and things that he shouldn't have done that he did do," Harney said.

He also rented a PODS storage unit to store all the salvaged possessions.

"He did not make payments on the POD, but since the POD was not in my mother's name and it was in his, they were not contacting her and they came and repossessed the POD one night," Harney said.

Everything of value that was saved from the flood waters was taken away. The family says they got a notice from PODS saying the contractor owed more than $2,100 and the PODS unit was going up for auction.

ABC13 stepped in and PODS responded promptly sending this statement:
We would like to thank KTRK for bringing Ms. Goodwin's situation to our attention. While we were aware that the contractor had been negligent in his payment responsibilities, we were not aware of Ms. Goodwin's involvement in this dispute.

We are concerned that Ms. Goodwin has been put in this situation and we are working diligently to process all the claims in this case. The auction of her property has been immediately halted. Once we can complete the verification of these claims, all items will be returned or restored at her earliest convenience.

Houston is close to our hearts, and we understand the ongoing struggle several Hurricane Harvey victims are experiencing as they continue to rebuild. We always strive to provide exceptional customer service, and want to send a reassuring message that this situation has been handled with the utmost care. We always want what is best for our customers, especially as we close out the holiday season.


Eyewitness News also got a hold of the Louisiana contractor by phone.

He admitted the job was not complete and said he would be back on New Year's Eve to finish the house.

"She has cancer, she's alone and I just want her to have the best life she can have right now, and this constant stress isn't good for her health," Harney said.

Follow Shelley Childers on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.