A Belleville couple says the Township of Stookey is responsible for raw sewage backing up into their basement.

Robert and Dolores Armstrong filed a lawsuit Aug. 15 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Stookey Township.

The Armstrongs say they live in an unincorporated section of Belleville which is provided sanitation services by Stookey Township. In August 2011, according to the complaint, the sewer system backed up into the Armstrong's Windsor Drive home and caused extensive damage to the basement.

They accuse the township of negligence for failing to maintain a proper sewer system, saying it should have known the system was defective and needed repairs. The Armstrongs also claim the township violated the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Act. The couple says when they notified the trustees of the township of their intent to file a lawsuit, they were offered a settlement of only $18,000.

The Armstrongs seek more than $250,000 in damages plus court costs.

Attorney Matthew M. McArthur of St. Louis represents the homeowners. They ask for a jury trial.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-424

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