Couple says Jeffersonville responsible for $25,000 sewer backup - News, Weather & Sports

Couple says Jeffersonville responsible for $25,000 sewer backup

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - A basement filled with raw sewage is bad. Getting stuck with a $25,000 repair bill, well that's worse. A southern Indiana couple said the city of Jeffersonville is responsible for the damages, but they can't get anyone to pay up.

Justin and Dani Evans claim city workers took responsibility on two different occasions and that's where the communication ended.

The minute she stepped inside her home on April 4, 2013 Dani said she knew something was wrong.

"My house smelled like poop," Dani said. "It was awful."

Two and a half inches of raw sewage flooded the basement.

"Damages, you name it," Justin said. "Rugs, beds, drywall, couch, dressers, cabinets."

He said nearly everything stored in the basement was ruined. Although the city sewer board hoped the couple could at least save the dishes.

"They wondered why we couldn't just sanitize those things that were sitting in other people's sewer water," Dani said. "There were several men in charge of the meeting. I wonder what their wives would say."

The Evans said the total for the cleanup, repair and losses was $25,000. They think the city of Jeffersonville should cover the bill.

The night of the flood, the couple said workers from the waste water department told them the backup was caused by a toy in the sewer main down the street. Justin and Dani don't have children.

They said waste water director Len Ashack promised the city would to take responsibility.

"The next day," Ashack said. "And now we're ten weeks later and we're playing a run around about who's fault it is."

After that meeting, Justin and Dani said the city of Jeffersonville all but cut off communication. They said calls to the sewer board  attorney weren't returned. The director eventually told them their $25,000 claim for damages had been submitted to the city's insurance company.

But when Justin finally spoke with Travelers Insurance, he said the agent told him Jeffersonville wasn't returning their calls either, and that the city had not submitted a copy of the couple's damages.

City Attorney Les Merkley now says he has a string of emails communicating with the insurance company and that it's up to them to "pay or not pay" after they had completed their investigation.

The Evans said the facts are as cut and dry as their basement was before all this.

"Bottom line is it's not or fault that this happened," Dani said.

Calls and emails to Travelers Insurance were not immediately returned.

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