Man returns home from knee surgery to find house demolished: lawsuit

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A Google Street View image from August 2012 shows the property at 27 Garden City Blvd. in West Hempstead, N.Y. (Photo: Google Maps)

A Google Street View image from August 2012 shows the property at 27 Garden City Blvd. in West Hempstead, N.Y. (Photo: Google Maps)

WEST HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — After spending months in Florida recovering from knee surgery, a 69-year-old Long Island man returned home to find that his house had been demolished and all he owned was gone, according to a lawsuit.

Philip Williams sued Hempstead, saying the town went too far in razing the home and getting rid of his possessions.

Philip Williams is suing after returning home following a surgery to find his house demolished and belongings gone. (Credit: Newsday / Chuck Fadely)

Philip Williams is suing after returning home following a surgery to find his house demolished and belongings gone. (Credit: Newsday / Chuck Fadely)

Town officials said they made every attempt to reach the man before they knocked down the house. The home was destroyed because, town officials said, it violated town code and qualified as a dangerous building.

Officials said they contacted several different addresses associated with the property, including banks and creditors.

Williams says he went to Florida in December, but didn’t forward his mail. He came back in August to see his home gone. His attorney says the town should have done more to contact him.