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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Question Suing city for Car Flood Damage

    On October 2nd, we had a really bad thunderstorm with hail in our city (suburbs of Chicago, IL). It was said it was one of the worst our city has seen in the past decade.

    Basically, my car and my girlfriends cars were both damaged by the quarter-sized hail. This of course will be covered by our insurance, but my girlfriends car was also flooded with what seems like backup sewage water. This happened while her car was parked on the side of the street, where the water is known to not drain fast enough. I was told by my landlord that that had been a problem forever. Water would always gather in that section, but in the past 17 years it has never reached a point where cars were flooded.

    My landlord had done intensive research over the past couple of years about this issue. The city had apparently had placed a restrictor in the sewage system, so the water would drain very slow.

    My landlord, as well as other neighbors, had been complaining to the city to fix the problem for a while now. After all the complaining, the restrictor was only widened by a half inch. The streets still flooded thereafter. Had this problem been fixed a long time ago, my girlfriends car would have never gotten flooded. Her car is most likely going to be claimed as a 'total' now, especially due to the flooding. My landlord said we have a very strong case to sue the city and that he would surely back us up in court.

    Do you think we have a case against the city?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Suing city for Car Flood Damage

    Municipal liability can be significantly limited due to governmental immunity, and it can be quite tricky to analyse governmental immunity issues. I suggest that you, or you and some of your neighbors who may also be considering a claim, consult a local lawyer to have the potential case evaluated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: Suing city for Car Flood Damage

    Hihgly unlikely you will have any recourse over a flooding situation - the city will blame the landlord and say they are only rsponsible for blah blah blah - been there done that. About 10 years ago we had torrential rains in Decatur and for hours on end - my neighbors came over to wake me up at 1 in the morning to tell me but I was too sick to get out of bed and didnt find the water damage to my basement until the next morning. My basement NEVER floods - but this time we had approximately 20 homes in a row - up and around both corners of our side street that all flooded the basements - mine was just water (my ball float kept out the worst of it) - my neighbors all had raw sewage and alot of them have finished basements, I don't. But we all complained to the city - it was seen by some neighbors (my one neighbors is actually a city worker) - and he knew that the city had to come out at 1 in the morning to try and unclog the storm drains in front of our houses - the were seen pulling out teddy bears, basketballs, you name it - it was all stopped up and backing into our basements. Of course when the city replied to all of our complaints the letters all said the same thing - that the problems must have been in our own homes and that they were only liable to a certain point in the street and beyond that was the homeowners problem. I would think that the car insurance company would cover the car under any circumstances.

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