Two Carmel Road couples in the Mediterra At Carmel development are suing the city over a water main break that sent water gushing into their homes four days before Thanksgiving in 2014.
The couples – Matthew Wagner and Lianne Lichstradl and Brad Henke and Victoria Siravo – say the resulting flood forced them to move temporarily out of their homes for up to five months and to invest tens of thousands of dollars in damage repairs.
Charlotte has so far denied their claims for cost reimbursement, the lawsuit says, so the couples are suing for damages in excess of $50,000, plus the highest amount of interest allowable by law dating back to 2014.
In all, the lawsuit had six claims for relief, with four of the claims seeking unspecified damages.
The 12-inch water main in the 3400 block of Carmel Road “cracked open” on Nov. 23, 2014, according to the lawsuit, overwhelming the storm water draining system in the subdivision and sending water into the couples’ homes.
One of the couples’ claims is that the city took too long to turn off the gushing water and was negligent in the installation, maintenance and inspections of the water line. They also claim the city quickly disposed of the broken pipe, knowing it would be subject to inspection for legal action.
“The city had a duty to use reasonable, ordinary care in the installation, maintenance, inspection of, and repair of the water main, and is liable for injuries and damages resulting from the city’s failure,” the lawsuit says.
“The city’s negligence and resulting flooding of the landowners’ property substantially and unreasonably interfered with landowners’ use and enjoyment of their property.”
Among the couples’ other claims is an assertion that the city treated other people in the area differently in regard to flooding, and that the city depressed the fair market value of their property by taking a temporary drainage easement over the site.
The couples are asking that the city pay attorneys’ fees and other costs.