A Man Against an Oppressive State Agency
Defying the Odds is a non–fiction book by David V. Day, based on a true story of one engineer’s conflict with one of the most powerful state agencies in Texas.
In the foreword, Day’s son Dennis explains how the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), a state government entity, uses its own facilities to carry out personal vendettas against many professionals. He strongly believes that this non–fiction book can open the eyes of every American who owns a house or pays insurance. His father’s work, Defying the Odds, is a story of standing up to the oppressor.
The author opens the book by giving us a short overview of the Day’s family history, as well as his personal growth, education and marriage. Even before the ‘David versus Goliath’ court case, many events in his life seem to have defied the odds, as Day points it out.
Defying the Odds is divided into thematic chapters, which makes it easy to navigate. They are closely related and chronologically placed. Every chapter serves as an introduction or an explanation of certain terminology, so that a reader can get more familiar with the main issues the book grapples with. For instance, Day discusses the history of TDI Windstorm Certification, the Engineering Practice Act, and how his own battle with the TDI started.
This kind of a struggle is far from unique among Windstorm-appointed engineers. Yet although there have been numerous engineers who have been persecuted by TDI, only Day’s case has made it to district court. Because of the carefully described events, we get to understand how the author’s case lead to trial.
As a private engineering consultant, Day was working as a third–party inspector on government grant jobs and on forensic damage assessments for building foundations. Only after Day accepts four roofs, which had been previously inspected by TDI and found deficient, will he discover that big agencies don’t like having their authority questioned.
Put under an audit, and close to losing his company and all of his clients, Day soon learns that TDI filed a motion for a hearing in SOAH court, proclaiming that he fraudulently prepared an inspection report with false statement.
This hearing, as the author indicates, had more repercussions than any trial held in Texas. There had never been a TDI hearing for disciplinary actions against an engineer that lasted for more than a day or even a few hours. Day’s hearing would last over two years and produce an extraordinary amount of testimony by TDI employees that underlined their willful ignorance of the code and of their statutory authority.
In this non–fiction book, you will find many real-life characters, villains and silent heroes, false and true testimonies, as well as an ‘insider’s look’ on how big corporations try to intimidate honest workers. Day exposes incompetence and corruption at the highest levels of the state government.
Although this kind of personal account will not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is certainly for anyone who has ever struggled against insurance companies, permit offices or any unaccountable bureaucrat. Defying the Odds is a story of how truth always prevails, no matter the size and power of opponent.
Mariella Stone, Noxwrite Reviewer