Ifthe town sued me to build a dry well for water to go from sub-pump, are they liable if the dry well actually causes my house to flood now?

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Ifthe town sued me to build a dry well for water to go from sub-pump, are they liable if the dry well actually causes my house to flood now?

My home has been flooding for years and we finally had the money to install a sub-pump and make repairs from previous damage. Water was being diverted into the street when it rained so the town sued us to build dry well for the water to go. But the dry well fills up and our property is built on rock so there is nowhere else for the water to go but back into our home after $40K worth in repairs. Our contractor told us there is nothing he can do it terms of the dry well to stop flooding. Can we sue the town to create a channel on the side of the road for the water to go?

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In order to answer your question thoroughly, how long has the flooding conditions affecting your home been existence and what is the cause of the flooding? Once you have isolated the cause of the flooding that has damaged your home, you have a target person or entity that potentially is liable for your damages under several theories of liability possibly:

1. improper diversion of water;

2. nuisance;

3. strict liability.

To solve the immediate problem of water intrusion, you need to consult with experts about the best way to keep the water off of your property that presumably is coming from another parcel.

In answer to your question, if your town filed suit against you to build a dry well for water to drain into a sump pump and the dry well does not function as designed, you have no real basis factually or legally to bring a lawsuit against the municipality.

I recommend that you consult with a real estate attorney regarding your situation.

Good luck.

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