City of Highland sued over sewage back-up

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 31, 2013


A Highland couple claims their home suffered a diminished market value after sewage backed into it.

Lawrence and Pamela Kernan filed a lawsuit Dec. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court against the City of Highland.

In their complaint, the Kernans allege they were living at 618 Pine St. in Highland on April 18 and 19, 2013, when the sewer system backed into their basement through the floor drain and toilet. In turn, their basement was flooded with two feet of sewage and waste, according to the complaint.

“At or about the time of the sewer backup into the plaintiffs’ residence, the Highland area had experienced a substantial rainfall,” the suit states. “However, that rainfall was not so significant as to cause surface flooding and was not so extraordinary as to cause the city’s sewers to back up into the plaintiff’s basement, in and of itself.”

Because of the incident, the Kernans suffered damages to the physical structure of their home and to their furnace, freezer and water heater, the complaint says. Their home’s market value was also diminished, they claim.

In their complaint, the Kernans seek a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Stephen M. Kernan of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer and Shevlin in Belleville will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-2105.

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