Local News

Sanford family wins sewage flood suit

Posted June 11, 2008

— Five years after a flood caused by a faulty sewage system made their house unsafe to live in, a Lee County couple will recoup some of their costs.

Richard and Kathy Harrison claimed the Sanford system swamped their house with sewage following a heavy rain storm in 2003, and they sued.

A jury awarded them $92,000 Wednesday.

City inspectors agreed at the time that the house was unsafe and needed to be properly sterilized.

Sanford leaders said the problem was storm runoff and the city was not responsible.

"The systems are old and they leak sometimes, but no system can withstand heavy rains. A spill will happen even with a system that is brand new," public works director Larry Thomas said.

6 Comments

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  • Meandmytwo Jun 12, 2008

    Good for this family and they deserved every dime they were rewarded. The city should have did what was right and corrected the problem. Now, this family gets to laugh all the way to the to bank. They are truly blessed.

  • WHEEL Jun 12, 2008

    Cities are in charge of everything and responsible for nothing. Don't believe me, just ask them.

  • Adelinthe Jun 12, 2008

    Good for them!

    May the jurisdictions with unsafe, perhaps out-dated utilities systems learn from this.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • smitty Jun 11, 2008

    All houses should have backflow valves.

  • aquamama Jun 11, 2008

    "The systems are old and they leak sometimes, but no system can withstand heavy rains. A spill will happen even with a system that is brand-new," public works director Larry Thomas said.

    Um, yeah...I'm going to have to call bs on this statement. Properly designed systems should not overflow. And, public works directors should KNOW that if they're having an inflow and infiltration problem in their pipes and act accordingly- BEFORE they get sued! His statement reeks of incompetence.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 11, 2008

    Still the city should have done the right thing and taken care of this matter without a law suit. Had the system been a private facility the city probably would have fined the company for the spill.