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legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7071
Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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My husband and I own a café, the town installed new water

Customer Question

My husband and I own a café, the town installed new water lines in the street outside the restaurant. the town did not mark the sewer lines and the one in front of the restaurant was crushed. It caused our basement to overflow in 6" of raw sewer. We had to immediately close down. My landlord had an open sewer line in the basement. He did hire a local sewer co to pump it out, only getting the water. The solids were left behind. He hired ServPro to finish the cleaning. He has been very hard o get in touch with, leaving servepro with no access to the basement. We have lost a week of income and the small community now knows our basement was full of sewer. I know our business will suffer dramatically from this. We have worked 80 hrs a week for the last 4 years to build our business
JA: OK. The Real Estate Lawyer will need to help you with this.
Customer: Is there one available?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, he told me to see what I got from my insurance co first, I feel it is a separate issue of neglegence
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: to wait to see what our insurance co will give us, I feel is it a separate issue of negligence
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: I called the board of health 1 1/2 years ago when I saw the open pipe, it had continued to overflow with grey water. I was afraid of mold because we are there so many hours
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Real Estate Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  legalgems replied 3 months ago.

I am sorry to hear this;

Negligence is defined as a failure to perform with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but may consist of omissions when there is some duty to act. This cause of action has 5 elements: the existence of a legal duty to exercise reasonable care; a failure to exercise reasonable care; harm caused by the negligent conduct; physical harm of actual damages; and proximate cause (reasonably foreseeable damages).

So if the basement flooded due to the negligent failure to close the open sewer line (and presumably that is a violation of local health codes,so statements to that effect from an official can help) then the owner of the building would be liable for reasonably foreseeable damages resulting from that negligence. That can include loss income and, if one can prove it, loss of good will (reputation of the business). Furthermore by failing to provide access to the work crew, that further exacerbated the issue, and the court may (but this is very hard to obtain) award punitive damages as a method to discourage others from wanton disregard for mitigating damages.

A forensic accountant would be able to determine the good will damages.

Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
What is a forensic accountant?
Expert:  legalgems replied 3 months ago.

It is an accountant that can determine the value of the good will of a business, and also can put a price on any decline in that value.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
ok, thank you
Expert:  legalgems replied 3 months ago.

You are most welcome;

if you have no further questions, kindly rate 3, 4 or 5 stars.

Here is a link to the bar association's legal referral site:

Expert:  legalgems replied 3 months ago.

Checking to see if you had any questions on the above? If so please post here; otherwise

kindly rate positively so the site credits me for assisting you;

thank you and enjoy the Holiday!

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