Portland, Tenn. Family Files Sinkhole Claim, Awaits Final Decision

December 14, 2005

Soon after Nov. 29, when their house, possessions and family heirlooms were swallowed by a sinkhole, Troy and Yvonne Givens of Portland, Tenn. filed a claim, and are waiting for a final decision from Hartford Insurance, which initially said it would not cover the claim.

While Troy and Yvonne Givens slept, a large sinkhole opened up under their home. They awoke early that day to discover that much of their house had fallen into a giant hole.

The large sinkhole began underneath the Givens’ utility room, which was converted from a garage. It moved outward to the back of the house, but continued to spread, moving to the front and causing the porch to fall.

The couple has waited anxiously for word if their insurance will cover them. But this week they learned that their insurance company will not cover them for the disaster.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do. I have no idea how we’ll pay for this,” Troy Givens told the Portland News-Examiner. Hartford Insurance has denied the Givens’ claim. Givens says the company is still working to help him, but he worries that the answer will stay “no.”

“The insurance company is trying to get their lawyers to pursue this, but I don’t feel real good about it. Right now it looks like we’re loosing everything,” Givens said.

But Yvonne Givens is not ready to take “no” for an answer.

“I know that people have said this is a sinkhole, but I don’t think it’s an ordinary sinkhole. Something has caused it and I want it investigated,” she said.

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