Bethalto home owner sues over raw sewage back-up

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 16, 2009

A Bethalto property owner has filed suit against the village of Bethalto and R.L.P. Development Company after he says his house was flooded with raw sewage multiple times due to backup of sewer lines.

Rob Hubler claims he moved into a house at 116 Independence Dr. in December 2007.

He began experiencing flooding problems on April 1, 2008, when a rainstorm caused a backup of sewer lines, which overflowed into his home, according to the complaint filed Sept. 11 in Madison County Circuit Court.

After the incident, Hubler complained to Bethalto. In turn, the village reported Hubler's complaint to its insurance company, the suit states.

Later, Bethalto paid about $19,000 to Hubler for the time and money he spent cleaning, sanitizing, repairing and replacing his damaged property, the complaint says.

However, the village took no actions to prevent the problem from recurring, Hubler claims.

So, after another heavy rainstorm on Sept. 14, 2008, the sewer system backed up again, and again raw sewage poured into Hubler's home and flowed up through his toilets, according to the complaint.

In March, after the two floodings, Bethalto delivered two large concrete objects that would have helped to eliminate the back-up problems Hubler was experiencing, the suit states. However, the village just left the two concrete objects sitting in Hubler's yard, the complaint says.

"The raw sewage in Plaintiff's home caused the basement to be filled with excrement, human waste, toilet paper, and other waste materials and filth and caused noxious odors that caused Plaintiff to be unable to use portions of the home," the suit states.

As a result of the numerous floodings to his home, Hubler claims he endured discomfort and annoyance, incurred cleaning, sanitization, repair and replacement costs and suffered damages to his articles of personal property that had great sentimental value. In addition, he suffered a depreciation of his home and has been denied the comfortable use of his property, according to the complaint.

In the three-count suit, Hubler alleges negligence, trespass and temporary nuisance against Bethalto. Defendant R.L.P. Development Company developed the land where Hubler's home is located, and his allegations against the company include negligence.

He is seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by Joseph N. Keamer of Wesley and Reames in Wood River.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-967.

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