Who is responsible?

On June 7 a local contractor dug up my home’s sewer line to find that the city’s contractor bored right through it with a gas line. The city says that it is the contractor’s responsibility, and they are out of business and this was 30 years ago so the statute of limitations is up and they are not responsible. The estimated repairs are approximately $20,000.

I say the city is guilty of reckless endangerment since there are homes that have actually blown up in the Cities after a local sewer cleaning company drilled into the gas line and gas leaked into homes. Those cases are in court right now. In 30 years you would think the city would have taken all precautions to scope the lines to be sure this would not happen again, since apparently I am not the first with this issue. Should I contact the Pipeline Safety organization? I know (especially since I am unemployed at the moment) that I do not have funds for a lawyer. WCCO? Local news? City Counselor? Any ideas for rectifying this situation?

7 Comments

Bob

about 9 years ago

Wow! That could have been a major explosion. After 30 years I think you should count your blessings that nobody ever cut the line while cleaning your sewer. I know it's hard to eat the cost but at least you're alive to pay it.

edgeways

about 9 years ago

I don't know if there is a right answer to the primary question of who is responsible. I sympathize with what you are saying, but it also seems reasonable that the primary contractor is the primary party and if they are long out of business... I dunno. I would doubt many attorneys would even think about taking this on even if you had the $ to do so given the long delay period.

It really and truly sucks, especially now that you know about it and fail to fix it you may be held libel for any future calamity.

Carla

about 9 years ago

State has ordered Excel to fix this problem in the TC
Read here:
http://finance-commerce.com/2011/03/natural-gas-explosion-hits-south-minneapolis/

Lindap

about 9 years ago

Looks like there may be a solution.  

Even though I am convinced this is City property and since they are the service provider they should fix it like Excel in the Cities, my insurance company has said they will cover all but the cost of repairing the sidewalks (since they are on City property).  You would think that the City would do that much.  

BTW  The Hartford is a great insurance provider.  Let's hope they don't cancel the insurance after this.

B-man

about 9 years ago

Call the city (comfort systems)and report that rain water is leaking into your sewer pipe.  I got a credit last summer to fix the sewer from the house to the street because it was letting in rain water.  

A contractor did the work and billed the city.  Never cost me a dime.  Once the contractor sees the mess he/ she may be able to pull the appropriate strings.

Good Luck, now forget that crap and go sailing.

Shane

about 9 years ago

@B-man, How did you get a credit for the whole thing?  

The city sent me a letter saying I have 90 days to repair my sewer, because of rainwater.

The Private Sewer System Grant program covers 80 percent of the cost, up to $4,000. The city figures the sewer replacement should only cost $5,000.  I got 4 bids and none of them are $5,000, all are over.

B-man

about 9 years ago

@Shane.  I believe I was fortunate that the city was replacing the road, and utility service in front of my property at the time, saving me mucho dinero. Thinking about it now I feel fortunate that I decided to do it then.

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