Pontiac-William Holliday school district sues over flooded building

Kelly Holleran Jun. 1, 2011, 11:42am


Five years after a new addition was built to one of its schools, the Pontiac-William Holliday School District claims it sustained major damages when an excessive amount of discharge water flooded the recently constructed school structure.

Illinois School District #105 as subrogee of Pontiac-William Holliday School District filed a lawsuit May 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Calhoun Construction, Excel Fire Protection and France Mechanical Corp.

The school district claims a backflow preventer valve malfunctioned during the night of May 26, 2009, causing an excessive amount of water to be discharged directly into the new domed school addition.

Because of the water, which sat stagnant in the building for hours, the school sustained damages of $83,180.05, according to the complaint.

The school district claims the discharge and resulting damages never would have occurred had the construction companies correctly installed drainage equipment.

"In direct contravention of the manufacturer's instructions, industry practices and customs, the backflow preventer valve was installed without a waste water disposal line to control normal discharge of water, and without a floor drain to control excessive discharge of water," the suit states.

Specifically, Illinois School District says Calhoun Construction and Excel Fire Protection failed to adequately design a water sprinkler system. Calhoun and Excel also negligently failed to properly supervise the installation of the water sprinkler system, the complaint says.

Illinois School District also names France Mechanical Corp. as a defendant. France came to inspect the water system after its installation, but failed to adequately inspect the sprinkler system, failed to recommend corrective action be taken and failed to warn the school district about what would happen should the backflow preventer valve break.

In its three-count complaint, the school district seeks the money it says it paid to
repair damages, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

John J. Kurowski and David M. Wilkins of Kurowski, Bailey and Shultz in Belleville will be
representing it.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-243.

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