In the State of Florida, municipalities govern the sewer systems and drain ways regarding the infrastructure of the given city. Oftentimes, there can be a backup or an excessive buildup of sewage which clogs the city pipes and is forced to back up in the direction towards an owner’s property instead of flowing away from it. It is the city’s responsibility to ensure that these drains are properly maintained.
When they are not maintained properly, the backflow sewage occurs by spewing back into a homeowner’s property causing severe damage to the areas in the home. When this happens, through no fault of the owner, the homeowner could seek damages against the municipality for not having properly maintained the pipes. An example of the homeowner receiving settlement for sewage comes from a case like the Grosse Pointe City settlement, where the city manager authorized funds for a settlement distribution because of sewage backup.
There is also an aspect of private nuisance and even in some cases, the aspect of an inverse condemnation of the property due to the amount of backflow. One of the main issues for the backflow to a residential area is the fact that there is a blockage in one of the main lines of the city. The city’s mainline typically runs underneath your street and directly in front of the house. The mainline is maintained, owned, and operated by the city. The city is primarily responsible for the proper maintenance. An example of this is from the East Lansing case where sewage backed up into the actual residential area, and the city was held liable.
There is also the issue of raw sewage being spilled or dumped into areas that could potentially be runoff reservoirs. One of the best examples of this recently is the Bradenton Florida case, whereby about 13,000,000 gallons of raw sewage were dumped into the manatee river over the course of one day.
The current injury criteria for a claim is for the plaintiff to have had a backflow issue into their residential home, from a sewer line that is owned, operated, and maintained by the city. Typically, there is an initial timeline on the claim by which most municipalities place on unsuspecting potential plaintiffs. However, the timeline depends on the reasonableness of the backflow caused by improper maintenance of the city-operated sewage line.
The Michael Brady Lynch Firm
If you or a loved one have suffered the damage of a sewer backflow into your residential area, and it has damaged your property significantly or completely, then you may be entitled to compensation. Here at the Michael Brady Lynch Firm, we handle these types of claims on a contingency basis, meaning that we charge the client nothing unless we win and we finance all litigation expenses. Please give us a call at 888-585-5970.