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Sewage Backup and Flooding

Liddle & Dubin, PC has successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of thousands of clients claiming damages as a result of a sewage backup or flooding event. Due to our experience in handling claims arising from a sewage backup, we are intimately familiar with the cause of most sewage backups and how to acquire the evidence necessary to prove that the backup was the fault of a governmental entity.

For over 20 years, our environmental class action attorneys have been committed to groundbreaking legal advocacy and grassroots campaigning in this area of law. We encourage you to learn about our history, which includes leading the campaign to enact the Michigan statute that allows homeowners to file claims for damages arising from a sewage backup. As a result of this law, we successfully obtained settlements of almost $20 million for homeowners. Steve Liddle was named a Lawyer of the Year by Michigan Lawyers Weekly for his efforts in that case.

Usually if you have been affected by sewage backups, you're not alone. We do the legwork to investigate and gather your neighbors who have also been affected. Then we commonly use class action lawsuits to address the flooding and seek compensation for the damages.

Who is at fault when sewage backups and basement flooding occur?

In most instances, the governmental entity charged with operating the local sewer system will claim that a sewage backup occurred as a result of an “Act of God” or extreme rain event. Based on this assertion, governmental entities almost universally refuse to voluntarily pay for the damages arising from a sewage backup incident.

Liddle & Dubin has been extremely successful in demonstrating that the sewage backup did not arise as a result of an unusual rain event but instead was caused by the negligence of the entity charged with operating the local sewer system.

Most sewer systems are separated in that the water generated by a rain event is captured by a separate storm drain. The sanitary sewage system — or the system that most often backs up into private property — is intended only to convey the water generated by ordinary household uses. In a separated system, there are no catch basins and rainwater is not intended to be present in these separated sanitary sewer systems.

The sewage backup occurs as a result of holes or cross connections that allow rainwater to enter the relatively small sanitary sewer system which causes pressure and surcharging and ultimately leads to a sewage backup.

Due to our unique experience in handling sewage backups, Liddle & Dubin has successfully represented clients in states throughout the Midwest. If you have a case involving a potential sewage backup or damages arising from flooding, please contact us for a free case review and to learn about your litigation options.

What should I do if I have a sewage backup?

Take Pictures and, If Possible, Video

If possible, take pictures of water and sewage in your home and the residue left after it recedes. Also, take pictures of all damaged items, including when those items are placed at the curb.

Notify the Relevant Government Agencies

In many jurisdictions it is necessary to provide various governmental agencies with written Notice of the flooding within a defined period of time. As these Notice requirements vary depending upon jurisdiction, we urge you to contact our office as soon as possible after a flooding event and we will provide the required legal Notice. We will provide free of charge the Michigan Notice requirement.

Document Your Losses as Soon as Possible

Contact us to obtain a copy of our standardized Damage Claim Form. If you do not want to use our Damage Claim Form at least try to make a written list of the ruined items while they are still fresh in your mind.

Make Sure the Wet Area is Safe Before You Enter

Do not enter the wet area until you are sure there are no electrical issues or fire hazards. The presence of water can cause a risk of electrocution or fire. The risk is particularly high if the water level has flooded any electrical system (i.e. an outlet, furnace or appliance that is plugged in). Also, be careful when using wet basement steps as our clients often report injuries due to slippery stairs.

Avoid Infection from Sewage Backup

Make sure that you avoid infection when handling items saturated by a sewage flood. This is true even if the water appears clear. Use gloves and do not expose any open cuts to the sewage. Use bleach as a disinfectant when cleaning. The sooner you dry and air out the flooded area, the less likely you are to have mold. Discard any contaminated food and porous items (i.e. pillows) that were saturated with sewage.

If you have been affected by sewage backup or flooding, please contact us.

Call (800) 536-0045 or complete the following form to schedule your free consultation today.

Class Actions.

Together, We Make An Impact

Liddle & Dubin is a class action law firm with a 20+ year history of stepping up to protect the rights of people against the misguided policies, illegal practices and egregious mistakes of companies and local governments.