Couple sues St. Albans, utility commission for property damage

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 7, 2011

CHARLESTON -- A couple is suing the City of St. Albans and the St. Albans Municipal Utility Commission after they claim a storm sewer overflowed and caused property damage.

On May 4, 2009, a storm sewer owned and maintained by the defendants overflowed and caused plumbing pipes in Elizabeth and Gary Hager's residence to burst, water to back up through the home's sewer line and the water to enter the couple's basement, according to a complaint filed May 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The Hagers claim it happened again on May 25, 2009.

Following the second incident, the defendants installed a flapper valve on the line running into the Hagers' basement, but on July 21, 2010, the municipal storm sewer again backed up during a period of overnight rain, causing deep water to collect in front of the residence.

The Hagers claim their two vehicles, a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix and a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox, were partially submerged during the incident and were later determined to be total losses.

The defendants were negligence in maintaining the storm sewer, according to the suit.

The Hagers are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Harry F. Bell Jr.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 11-C-712

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