HOUSTON -- The bright lights and noise of the Bayport Container Terminal are within sight and earshot of hundreds of Shoreacres homes and many residents say it's like trying to sleep at a carnival.

Yushema Simon says she filed a lawsuit earlier this week.

I counted 39 times they honked from 1:30 to 2:30 in the morning. It's ridiculous, Simon said. We have gone from being a resort town to being an industrial city. And that's not what I signed up for.

With James Moriarty, a famed class-action attorney, by her side, Simon invited hundreds of others to join in her fight.

This isn't a gigantic secret that these people are pissed off and want something done, he said.

The Port of Houston Authority opened the container terminal two years ago, promising 12,000 jobs in ten years and billions of dollars in business for the local economy.

But earlier this month, yielding to neighborhood complaints, it offered 411 households a cash payment of $40,000 each.

That was compensation for the lights and noise, and an agreement to not to file a lawsuit.

Our properties are worth more than that, Simon said. Our families are worth more than that. And our health is worth more than that.

So before they accept that $40,000, residents are asking Moriarity if there is more they could do or more compensation they could get.

You know it's hard to stand in the way of progress, he said. There was a time when Manhattan Island was a picturesque place for the Indians to play and have picnics. But it isn't anymore. And that's sort of what's happening in our neighborhood.

The Houston Port Authority has always maintained that its approach to the project has been to be a good neighbor.

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