Messenger: Water main break flooded couple’s basement. Too bad, says city of St. Louis. | Tony Messenger
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The problem is that the City of St. Louis has no liability. This is what Associate City Counselor J. Brent Dulle wrote to the Alvarados on March 27th last year. The couple filed a lawsuit with the city after their insurance company told them the city was responsible because their aqueduct broke and caused the damage compared to a tornado or other natural event.
The city said it has no responsibility.
“To enforce liability for your claim, Missouri law requires evidence that a public agency knew, or could have known, a problematic condition of the pipe in time to correct the condition before it broke,” Dulle wrote. “Here the water department had no knowledge of such a problem. This major break was a random, unpredictable, and unfortunate event. Unfortunately, the water department cannot be held responsible for your claim. “
Hogwash, says Clark Jones, the Alvarado’s attorney. He continues to urge the city to pay for the damage.
The basement of David and Nicole Alvarado’s Lindenwood Park home is in a mess following a flood the night before Thanksgiving in 2019 following a major water break in town. Photo by Nicole Alvarado.
“In short, the city’s argument is absurd,” says Jones. “A freshman law student would know that. Even if notification was required (which it certainly does not), there have been previous aquatic problems in this area which were intended to alert the city that additional work was needed to ensure that no further problems occurred. “