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Bradymadi

Work On Sanitary Sewer line

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A contractor performing work on the municipality sewer line as part or a larger contract performed work on the property owners lateral line resulting in damages to the line requiring 25K to repair. Municipality claims they are held harmess and the contractor is responsible. The contractor subcontracted the work and states that the subcontractor is responsible. The subcontractor claims they did not work on the branch line but later admitted to working on the branch line. The branch line was not verified to be operational following the work and had to be repaired by the property owner.

Did the contractor trespass by working on the lateral line without knowledge and permission of the property owner? The subcontractor indicates that the limit of liability for a claim had expired.  Work was performed in June 2012.  Problem was discovered in Oct 2014. Initial claim was filed Oct 2014  Municipality assisted the property owner in searching out the problem Response to Sanitary Sewer Line claim denial From Stefanick' Insurance Co..wps

property owner

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12 hours ago, Bradymadi said:

Did the contractor trespass by working on the lateral line without knowledge and permission of the property owner?

 

This is a factual question to which we could not possibly know the answer.

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Hello YES.  The contractor was working under contract to repair a main sewer line.  At the point of work the lateral line tapped into the main sewer line.  The main line was replaced and the contractor denied working on the lateral line.  He later indicated that he did work on the line .upon completion of the main line repair the lateral line was not checked for proper operation and later it was discovered to have been seperated and plugged.  The contractor never notified the property owner of the work being performed.  The municipality that contracted the work also did not notify the property owner of the work being performed.  Because of the location of the lateral line we do not believe the municipality or the contractor expected to encounter the lateral line while performing work on the main line.

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Just a few questions:  Did the separation and plugging of the lateral occur near the main line and was the separation off the property of the aggrieved owner?  How could it have cost $25,000 to repair the damage at the connection?  Why was the separation and plugging not apparent for over two years?  I am sure the insurer asked the same questions.

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HelloThe seperation and plugging of the lateral line was within 4 foot of the main line.  It happened where the lateral line turns 90 degrees and drops several feet into the main sewer line  located approximately 40 feet from the property line.  The $25k included partial excavation of a two lane road and tunneling under one lane of the road, removal of 10 feet of a neighboring concrete driveway.  A 10 foot concrete parking pad at the residence also had to be removed adjacent to the property line. The excavation also passed under a 2 inch natural gas branch line and a 6inch natural gas main line.  The excavation depth started at approximately 5 feet at the property line and dropped to a depth of 13 feet at the 90 degree turn and then dropped another 2 to 3 feet to the main sewer line..The local municipality required all back fill under the road to be crushed stone, this excavation required over 50 tons of crushed limestone.   and complete restoration of the roadway with a specific asphalt mix to a specified depth.  In addition the neighboring driveway and concrete parking slab had to be replaced.  This is in addition to the 50+ feet of new pipe and an additional clean out riser on the line to meed plumbing requirements for the area.  The work required utility searches, permits, traffic control and shutdown for two emergency shutdown due to natural gas leaks that occured when the gas lines were uncovered and found to be extremely corroded and leaked when the earth surrounding them was removed.

 

When the main sewer line was worked on the house was only occupied by one person who worked long hours. Limited water usage and the length of the lateral line allowed it to fill during use and slowly leak and drain down .  Two years after the work a compainin moved into the residence and when both residents were at home and using water the sewage would slowly back up into the basement of the home and then drain off.  The investigation of the problem determined that the line was full of black tar like sludge up to the seperation point ndicating the  blockage had been occuring for a long time 

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Hi @Bradymadi

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for your post! Looks like the legal community has already been able to offer you some direction! If you decide that you want to speak with a real estate attorney about your situation, you can use our Lawyer Directory -- many offer free consultations.

 

Best of luck!

The FindLaw.com Team

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