Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice and (2) tthere may be a slight
delay between your follow ups and my replies.
I am very sorry for your situation. In this situation, you may have a case for nuisance
To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment
," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state.
Here, you may very well have a case for nuisance. "To establish liability for damages
from the flow of surface water onto their property plaintiffs were required to establish that the surface water was diverted by defendants by artificial means or that 'the improvements [or lack thereof, in this case]
were not made in a good faith effort to enhance the usefulness of the defendant[s'] property.' " Smith v. Town of Long Lake, 40 AD 3d 1381 - NY: Appellate Div., 3rd Dept. 2007
. Furthermore, nuisance is defined as invasion of the interest in the private use and enjoyment of land and such invasion is (1) intentional and unreasonable, (2) negligent or reckless, or (3) actionable under the rules governing liability for abnormally dangerous conditions or activities. Copart Inds. v. Con Ed, 41 NY 2d 564 - NY: Court of Appeals 1977
As such, someone in your situation may THREATEN to sue them for nuisance, or actually do so, getting in judgment (1) damages plus (2) what it would cost to barrier the water, OR (3) a direct action from the Court to them to fix the manhole if it is on their property.
An attorney is recommended. May I recommend the NY Bar referral program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
Often, simply a letter threatening
suit will do the trick. Please let me know if you need such a sample letter.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.
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