What to do about a plumbing backup that occured while the city was working on street in front of my house?

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What to do about a plumbing backup that occured while the city was working on street in front of my house?

In exchange for a release, I’ve been offered $470. My expenses were $2360. They claim no fault and the money offer cannot be increased. Dead line is in about 2 months. Both their people and my plumbers ran videos and could find no cause for the blockage. (It was discovered that the house next door and my house shared the same lateral, which is no longer acceptable plumbing practice and the city paid for correcting the outdated plumbing) Should I accept this “compromise offer?”

Asked on August 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No one else can tell you whether or not you should accept $470 instead of more when your losses are $2360. But seeing as it sounds like it is going to be hard to prove that they negligently caused the plumbing backup, I might just take the offer if I were you.

It is unclear whether or not you made a formal claim (many municipalities use a specific form) but in CA if you do not make a formal claim in writing within 6 months of the event against a government entity--then you are forever barred from bringing a claim in court.  So, if they made the offer and you haven't made a formal claim, make sure to do so to preserve your right to sue them if you don't accept the offer.  If you do choose to sue, pick someone who knows the CA Government Code well, it is a total minefield and is very different than other areas of law.

Best of luck.


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