My question involves an easement in the state of: New Jersey
I live in a hilly neighborhood, about halfway down from the top of the hill. A small stream runs behind all of the houses on my side of the street. During a rain storm the water is directed under the street through storm sewers, turns left at my property and runs through a roughly 5-foot diameter pipe to my back yard (easement). Halfway into my back yard, it makes a 45-degree right turn (where there is a clean-out lid in my yard) and runs about 40 feet to the outlet, which directs the water to the stream bed.
The town has an easement to maintain this pipe under my property. All was fine until a downpour last week. The storm water pipe clogged at the turn in my back yard, and overflowed, causing the iron lid to pop off and creating a raging river in my yard.
The resulting damage was not terrible, but there was a lot of erosion that needs to be repaired - I estimate 2 loads of topsoil and some kind of small rock/stone retaining wall to prevent further damage.
The town responded quickly to unclog the drain and restore the free flow of water, but I am left with the damage and mess all over my back yard. I estimate about $2,000 to repair, and I am certain this is not covered by insurance.
Question: Simple logic tells me that the town should be responsible for the clean-up and repairs since it was caused by their negligence in maintaining "their" easement.
Is this indeed the case, and it is supportable by legal precedent?
If so, how do I pursue this if they continue to refuse any further responsibility?