Property owner alleges Alton failed to maintain storm drains

By John Breslin | May 17, 2019

EDWARDSVILLE -- An Alton investment consultant is suing the city, alleging it failed to properly maintain the storm sewer system, which led to flooding of his business premises.

David Grace, who runs Topp Dogg LLC and owns property on Blair Avenue, filed suit April 30 in Madison County Circuit Court over flooding that caused "serious damage" to his property in June 2018. He is listed as an investment consultant on Linkedin.

Grace alleges the sewer system close to his property was clogged when thunderstorms hit the city late that month,

"Unfortunately, the storm sewer surrounding the premises in question was clogged and could not clear the rainwater, which was not an inordinate amount of water," the complaint states, alleging the city breached its duty of care.


Grace said his premises flooded, "causing serious damage to the structural improvements and to the contents of the building."

The city is liable, according to the complaint, because it has a "duty to maintain the storm sewer in such a way that it would allow for the clearing of moderate amounts of rainfall." Grace, represented by attorney Gray Magee, of Edwardsville, seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

Alton attorney Jim Schrimpf said he is aware of the case but that it was passed on to the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association, which manages claims against many of the state's cities.

"The insurance carrier has taken that over and will be defending," Schrimpf told the Record, adding the insurance company will carry out any investigation needed, including interviewing employees.

The city attorney's office will not be involved unless asked by the insurance carrier.

"I am not aware of any other such claims from heavy downpours and flooding recently....not aware of any suits," Schrimpf said.

Grace alleges damage to the building and foundation, to several vehicles apparently in the building, as well as to commercial equipment and personal property. 

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