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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6765
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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Not sure what part of sewage laws this would fall under.

Customer Question

Not sure what part of sewage laws this would fall under. It's been a little on a year since my mom's house flooded not once but twice with sewage. She called 911 and a couple of city workers came out and did something in a man hole and it stopped the house was completely flooded. Even ran out back door into pool. We were told someone from the city would be out to look at it. We were also told that a claim would be filled and someone would be out to inspect home. No one showed u but we had to get pro service out to clean up the hazardous sewage. In almost a week to the day of the first time, time it flooded again. This time it was worse. We called a plumber out to find out what was going on. It wasn't until the plumber actually call the manager over the sewage dept. did he actually come out. Plumber said it didn't come from the homeowners side. Prior to this the city added a line right next to my house of a house could be built. My mom's house in on a hill... she is at the top of hill. Her house was the only one flooded. We finally got the city manager out there weeks later after sending out personal written invites. The manager knew very little about what had happened. He assured us that someone would be out to inspect. This never happened but they did come clean the pool so the mosquitoes would not be bad. That took almost a month. We had made it to three city council meetings, showed them video of the mess. Then due to use talking to a lawyer they wouldn't listen to us. But we had hope cause it seemed the council wanted to help. Due to serve pro having to redo everything twice and it was worst the second time... her bill was 28 thousand. Just for clean up. We weren't getting much from city lawyer till we and the lawyer went to council meeting again. Our lawyer was needing the paperwork where the city insurance denied claim. Our lawyer received it that day. It was denied before the second flood happened not quite a week later. No one even came out. My mom has been in this house over 25 years and there hasn't been a problem. They keeping saying there must be a septic tank or system. This is not the case, there is not one on the property. My mom has lived with my sister for the past year. Her mental state is not good. She has been so depressed and angry. We have one cat that she goes over and feeds and sees. Her dog is with her and the dog even fills out of place still. We gathered up bids and they offered her 32 thousand. This is a slap in the face. My mom's not rich and retired. She would do anything for anyone. But after serve pro that will live her with 5 thousand to completely redo house. To make matters worse I was dianosed with breast cancer again after 14 years. I have been out from work since mid January. Mom not being in her house is just making this worse on her mental state. The lawyer is giving us the impression that if we don't take the offer then we will get nothing because the law protects the city. Is this why they drug their feet. I was hip on a local lawyer. My sister has a business there and we have been nice and not talked about and did as we were told. We all the lack of communication and misinformation. I'm just hoping there is some answer out there. This is taking place in henderson, texas. "A great place to retire".... I look forward to hearing any advice or direction you have.
Thank you,
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 7 months ago.

Hello Jerilynn: What a tragic situation for you and your mother. You don't mention filing a claim with your mother's homeowner's insurance as opposed to relying on the city and private plumbing contractors. Why is that?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We talked to them and sewage was not cover. We found out the hard way that people really need to ask about sewage clauses...she has been with state farm for years and it was denied because it hasn't on her property.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Opps. It didn't have to do with the sewage lines on her property
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 7 months ago.

My real estate broker partner says that you are correct regarding the lack of coverage for sewer backups on the homeowners policy. We had the same thing happen to a small hotel when the town used a fire hose in the line to unplug a clog or something. It blew two feed of raw sewage into a one story motel and totaled it. Sewer lines have to be protected by a back flush valves. My question now is if that happened once, and the city was aware of it why did they flush it a second time without taking steps to protect your mother's property? Of course, I don't know what actually caused the backup to occur, and I suspect that all of the other homes, which are probably newer than hers have the backup valves. Your lawyer may be correct about the immunity of the city from liability, if it occurred in their performance of a governmental function. But they can be liable if negligence can be shown, and most of the time they carry insurance for that purpose. That is a tough question which requires a lot of legal research by your attorney. In our case, which occurred in another state we could not find a local attorney to take it on a contingency fee basis against the city and a sewer contractor who had something to do with maintaining the drain. I wish you the best of luck in getting this mess, literally resolved in the best manner you can. I hope that you will enter a positive rating for this effort on my part. Thanks for using JUST ANSWER.

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