Company blames City of Charleston for property damage

CHARLESTON -- Charles & Suthers Associates, LLC, is suing the City of Charleston claiming the city failed to repair a storm water drain for two years after it was reported to be broken. In 2010, the principals of Charles & Suthers began to notice that a stormwater drain owned by the city and running underneath Lexington Drive was not functioning and was causing storm water to pond in large quantities immediately across Lexington Drive from its property, according to a complaint filed Nov. 19 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Charles & Suthers claims it notified city officials that the stormwater drain was not properly functioning and posed a hazard to Lexington Drive and to its property, but the city failed or refused to remedy the ineffective storm water drain. In 2011, Charles & Suthers noticed that immediately down slope and downstream from the defective stormwater drain, earth movement had begun to occur, both on the city’s right-of-way and on Charles & Suthers’ property, according to the suit, and also that the city’s water pipe “‘blew-out’ on the slope above plaintiff’s property and began to channel storm water directly onto plaintiff’s property, causing earth movement, erosion and damage to plaintiff’s retaining walls and home structure.” Charles & Suthers claims the city was advised again of the situation in early 2012 and the city represented to the plaintiff that the stormwater drain in question would be re-routed, but the city did not take action until later in in 2012. The city’s callous disregard for the property rights of Charles & Suthers in failing and refusing to properly maintain and repair stormwater drainage caused Charles & Suthers property damage, according to the suit. Charles & Suthers is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. It is being represented by David V. Moore. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles E. King. Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 12-C-2307

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