Chesterton Tribune


Town sues water company over collapsed sanitary sewer main

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The Town of Chesterton is seeking more than $25,000 from Indiana-American Water Company (IAWC), in a lawsuit filed on Nov. 5 in Porter Superior Court.

The suit alleges that IAWC crews, in the course of working on a water line in 2011, damaged a sanitary sewer main, resulting not only in the expense of repairing the sewer main but of compensating a homeowner for damage done when the main backed up into his basement.

Specifically, the town’s suit alleges the following:

•In March 2011, IAWC excavated a stretch of North Calumet Road to repair a water line located beneath a municipal right-of-way. “The repairs included placing a trench box into the excavated street, repairing a water line tap, then backfilling the excavation with gravel.”

•On April 17, 2011, a homeowner in the 400 block of North Calumet Road reported that a backed up sanitary sewer line was flooding his basement.

•After an investigation, the Chesterton Utility “determined the cause to be a collapse in the sewer main line located in the right-of-way adjacent to the repair work performed by IAWC. In particular, the Utility determined that the sewer main line collapse was caused by the weight of a trench box utilized by IAWC.”

Count I of the suit alleges negligence on IAWC’s part and seeks $14,822: the cost of repairing the actual damage to the sewer main.

Count II of the suit sites common law indemnification and seeks an additional $11,268.95: the cost of repairing damage to the homeowner’s structure.

The suit adds that, on April 18, 2011, an IAWC representative “provided assurances to the Utility’s superintendent that IAWC would pay for the costs of repairing the damage to the residential structures.”

The suit also notes that another homeowner has filed notice of a tort claim against the town, in connection with damage to his residential structure related to the sewer main collapse.


Posted 11/23/2012