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Resident faults Disney for cracked home

Construction of company's child-care center caused damage, homeowner says.

January 30, 2012|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
  • Jennifer Pinkerton showed loose and cracked brick work around the front of her home on the 1300 block of Truitt St. in Glendale on Friday, January 27, 2012. Pinkerton claims construction of the Disney Child Care Center across the street from her home caused the damage. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Jennifer Pinkerton showed loose and cracked brick work…

A Glendale woman is continuing her battle with the Walt Disney Co. almost two years after the studio damaged her home while building a child-care center on its sprawling campus.

Jennifer Pinkerton said Disney officials are offering her $5,000 to cover multiple interior and exterior cracks in the walls of her house, even though an estimate she has filed with the company from Mudd Construction put the repair cost at around $40,000.

“It costs thousands of dollars just to paint the house, so what can you do with $5,000?” Pinkerton said.

But Disney officials, she said, told her the estimate covers upgrades to which she isn’t entitled for her wood-frame house built in the 1930s. Most of the houses along the stretch of Truitt Street in the Northwest Glendale neighborhood are similar and built around the same time

Pinkerton said Disney’s offer is especially unfair since Disney paid her neighbor, John Pera, more than $5,000, even though she believes damage to her house is comparable to his.

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Pera confirmed that he reached a settlement with Disney for partial repairs and the payout was more than $5,000, but declined to give a specific amount.

Five homeowners along Truitt accepted $5,000-settlements from Disney soon after the damage to their houses was reported, Pinkerton said.

Disney officials did not respond for comment.

The noisiest part of the construction occurred during February and March 2010, Pinkerton said, beginning with 5 1/2 days of ground compacting using heavy equipment.

“It was like the Northridge earthquake,” she said, adding that nearby homeowners were not given notice prior to the earth-shaking activity.

At a meeting with Truitt Street residents in August 2010, Disney representatives said the studio wanted to be a good neighbor as it built its 125-acre Creative Campus , which is about 30 feet away from the homes on Truitt.

Pinkerton said she has considered litigation, but it’s expensive.

“It’s $10,000 just to get to court and then it often goes to arbitration and you have to pay for the arbitrator,” Pinkerton said.
 
 

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