Wallingford residents suing town over sewer backup into home

Wallingford residents suing town over sewer backup into home

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WALLINGFORD — A local couple has filed a lawsuit against the town after a sewage backup in their home left them with about $45,000 in damage.

Edward Hilbert Sr. and Diane Hilbert, of 45 Laurel Drive, filed a lawsuit in November seeking damages after raw sewage flooded the finished basement of their home three years ago. 

“It’s ridiculous,” Edward Hilbert Sr. said. “The workers told us everything would be covered by the town, and then the town says they’re not responsible. It’s definitely a nightmare.”

According to court documents, the municipal sewer system backed up and raw sewage spilled into the home on Oct. 29, 2016.

“The Hilberts returned home to find an overwhelming noxious odor and sewage entering their basement bathroom,” court documents state.

Town inspectors found that the main sanitary line, not the lateral line to the Hilberts’ property, was blocked, possibly by plant roots.

That “caused backup from a number of customers’ properties to fill the Hilberts’ basement,” court documents state.

Hilbert said he contracted with ServPro to clean the house and repair the damage, and it cost them $45,000 for demolition and construction work to the basement and in damaged furniture.

Court documents state that town employees “assured the Hilberts of the town’s responsibility for their damages,” and that they believed the town employees had accepted responsibility on behalf of the town for the incident.

The lawsuit claims that the town “refused to pay ServPro and/or the Hilberts for the reasonable costs of cleaning and remediating and repairing the damage caused by the presence of sewage in their home.”

Leins have been placed on their home in connection with unpaid bills for the cleanup, court documents state.

“Financially, it killed us,” he said.

He added that his homeowners’ insurance would not cover the costs because the backup did not happen on the lateral line, but in the main line, off the property.

New Haven Superior Court Judge W. Glen Pierson granted the town an extension of time to plead, which ended Sunday.

Representatives from the town Water and Sewer Divisions did not return calls for comment.



Twitter: @LCTakores


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