Sewer backup at church's building leads to suit

Ann Knef Aug. 23, 2005, 12:48pm

1200 Moreland Dr.

Godly is the one who turns the other cheek.

But when a sewer backed up the second time, a Belleville church was not so forgiving of Stookey Township's trespasses.

St. Matthew's United Methodist Church and its insurance company, Rockford Mutual, filed suit against the township in St. Clair County Circuit Court Aug. 17, blaming it for sewer backup damage at an apartment building the church owns at 1200 Moreland Dr. in Belleville.

Seeking $40,650.26 for repairs, plus costs of the suit, the church claims the laundry room at the building located at 1200 Moreland Dr. was flooded on May 27, 2004 and Jan. 5.

The first time it caused $10,051.50 in damage; the second time, $30,598.76.

In the suit's first count, it claims the township breached its duty to control, operate and maintain the sewer system "in such a manner to prevent the sewer from backing up and causing buildings connected to the sewer to flood."

The second count claims Stookey Township breached its duty to repair the sewer lines after the first backup incident.

Rockford Mutual and St. Matthew's United Methodist Church are represented by Charles L. Joley and Kelley E. Purkey of Donovan, Rose, Nester & Joley of Belleville.

"That as a direct and proximate result of the acts and/or omissions of defendant, plaintiff has had to repair the water damage to teh laundry room and three apartments," the suit claims.

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