Families suing city for sewage backing up out of their toilets

Imagine sewage backing up out of your toilet onto your floors. That’s what happened to two families in Murray last May who are now suing the city.

Sewage backed up into three homes on Oak Hill Drive in May, 2014. The Stark family and another couple are accusing the city of not maintaining their sewage system and costing them more than $40,000 in damages.

Mother of three Lydia Stark said sewage backed up out of two toilets, causing the family to have to pull out floors in several rooms, change cabinets, and replace steps.

“It was so gross. It got into my husband’s clothes. It got in our closet. So, like all of our shoes and all of his clothes had to be thrown out,” Stark said.

Stark said she had just come back to start lunch at her home when her oldest kid found something disgusting downstairs.

“It was gross because he’d stepped in all of it,” Stark said

She said sewage and water covered about 1,100 square feet of the home and even got into the vents, leaving them homeless for about a month.

“I hate for our kids to be in that kind of situation where they breathe in that kind of nasty mess,” Stark said.

It cost them more than $16,000 and the family across the street more than $36,000. Stark said Murray Mayor Jack Rose said he couldn’t help them.

“He said that it wasn’t the city’s fault, even though their sewage backed up into our house,” Stark said.

So they’ve filed a lawsuit asking to be reimbursed at least financially.

“It was just really gross. I mean, even though everything was torn out and decontaminated, it’s still just, you feel like it’s still in your house,” Stark said.

The mayor’s office did not get back to us with a comment. Stark’s lawyer, Matthew Schultz, said the city replied to their complaint by saying they are not responsible as a matter of law, and that the backup was unforeseeable.

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