A massive water main break trapped a dozen commuters in their cars as the swift, frigid waters flooded a suburban road, and rescuers in helicopters and boats had to pluck people from the whitewater unleashed by an aging pipe. Two people in a minivan climbed into a basket lowered by a helicopter as the floodwaters raged past them which sprayed water on a rescuer reaching out to save them. Some people were rescued by boat from waters at least 4 feet deep. Everyone appeared to be safe despite personal injury reports of hypothermia. Temperatures were in the 20s. Officials said 135 million gallons of water per minute were gushing out at one point. Due to the gushing water’s intensity, fire officials did not allow utility workers to immediately shut down valves where the break occurred but they were able to shut down two valves farther down the pipeline. To read the full story, click here.
Plaintiffs who were the property owners of eight houses that were destroyed by a landslide in a home subdivision alleged there was utility negligence and failure to repair a water leak in a timely manner. The association consists of 58 units. The plaintiffs maintained that the city and its water authority were negligent in failing to repair a leaking fire hydrant and underground water main in a timely manner. Eyewitness reports alleged that a fire hydrant was leaking for six days prior to the landslide. The plaintiffs contended that phone calls were made to the city to for a repair but no one responded in six days. The hydrant was repaired after the sixth day but it had already leaked thousands of gallons of water to the ground. This excessive moisture caused the water main located in the middle of the street to move laterally. Two days after this hydrant was repaired, water started coming up through the asphalt in the middle of the street and the plaintiffs once again called the city. The city responded and turned off the water that feeds the main but left without performing any repairs. Three hours later, eight of the homes in the association slid down the hill. The plaintiffs resolved their claims for $14 million from the city and the homeowner association’s insurance. To read the full story, click here.
More than 100 residents impacted by a flood early this year filed a personal injury lawsuit in U.S. District Court last week. The flood victims are seeking compensation regarding negligence, infliction of emotional distress, and personal injury. Specifically, the personal injury claims involve risk to the plaintiffs’ health by flood waters, mud, mold, bacteria, and other toxins.
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