Charleston sued over sewer problem

CHARLESTON - The estate of a woman who says sewage flooded her basement is suing the City of Charleston and the Sanitation Board.

Mikel Jones and Scott Jones filed the lawsuit on behalf of the late Joyce Pullen May 23 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

They are represented by David A. Ford of Charleston law firm Ray, Winston and Kelley.

They say that on June 29, 2004, sewage backed into Pullen's residential sewer line from the city's sewer line, spilling into the basement of Pullen's home on Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston.

With extensive damage to the dwelling structure and Pullen's personal property done, they say she notified the city but was told 10 days later that there was no malfunction on the city's part.

On July 22, 2004, they say the same thing happened again, causing the sewage wager to stand more than 12 inches deep.

Again, the Sanitary Board inspected the situation and advised her that there was no problem with its line, the complaint says.

Pullen had to hire a contractor to dig her sewer line and determine the problem, and the complaint says that contractor found no blockages, breaks or failures with the residential line but found sewer water and waste backing into it from the city's line.

It adds that the contractor found a sunken manhole covered over by the existing pavement in the area directly in front of her home.

The Joneses are suing for compensatory damages.

Judge Charlie King has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-990

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