Cahokia family seeks $200K in damages from Village over sewage backup


A family of four is suing the Village of Cahokia after human waste allegedly ran from a broken sewer system into the basement of their home.

Andre and Elishia Henson, themselves and on behalf of their two children, filed the lawsuit June 12 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against the Village of Cahokia.

The Hensons say they were living with their two children, ages 6 and 10, in a home on St. Benedict Drive in Cahokia in June 25, 2011. The couple says a problem with the sewer lines caused the system to back up and dump raw sewage into their basement.

In the 10-page complaint, the family claims the backup caused the basement "to be filled with excrement, human waste, toilet paper and other waste materials and filth" that produced "noxious odors." When the Hensons alerted the Village of Cahokia about the sewage, they say city representatives failed to respond to the complaints in a timely fashion.

The Hensons say the sewage backup caused "extensive real and personal property damage and loss and sickess and personal injury." They say they have "endured discomfort and annoyance" while being forced to spend money to repair property damaged by the sewer backup. They claim they have lost valuable and sentimental property and have been unable to enjoy their home.

The Hensons maintain the Village of Cohokia was negligent in the operation, repair and maintenance of the sewer system and, as a result, are liable for the alleged damage to the family and the St. Benedict Drive home.

The family accuses the defendant of negligence, trespass, temporary nuisance, res ispa loquitor and multiple violations of city ordinances and the Illinois Environmental Protection Act. They are asking to be awarded more than $200,000 in damages plus court costs.

Attorney Hrant "Hud" Norsigian Jr. of O'Fallon is representing the Henson family.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-318

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