Cahokia residents sue village over sewer back-up

Kelly Holleran Apr. 11, 2012, 10:00am

Three St. Clair County residents have filed suit against the village of Cahokia after they say raw sewage backed into their basement.

Bernadette and Stanley Anderson and Michael Nunn of 1108 St. Bernadette Dr. in Cahokia allege raw sewage backed into their basement because of improperly maintained sewage lines near their home.

One portion of Cahokia's sewer system is in such bad condition that a pipe has been placed along the ground to bypass the insufficient underground sewage, according to the complaint filed March 27 in St. Clair County Circuit Court. However, the above-ground pipe, which has been in place for at least the past three years, has collapsed and does not properly function, the suit states.

As a result of the pipe's malfunction, raw sewage backed into the Anderson's home and onto their land in April 2011 and on Sept. 11, 2011, the complaint says.

Because of the raw sewage seeping into their home, the plaintiffs say they have endured discomfort and annoyance and have incurred cleaning, sanitation, repair and remediation costs. The plaintiffs say they have also suffered damage to their personal property, suffered a depreciation in their home's market value, have been denied the comfort and use of their home and suffered personal injuries.

They blame the village for allowing the sewage to back into their home, saying it negligently failed to operate and maintain the sewer system in a safe way, failed to inspect and repair the sewer system, failed to adequately design the sewer system and failed to timely respond to the plaintiffs' complaints of a sewer backup.

In their four-count complaint, the plaintiffs are seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

They will be represented by Hrant "Hud" Norsigian Jr. of Norsigian Law Office in O'Fallon.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-158.

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