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2012-06-07 at 20:02

About 100 people have joined class action lawsuit against city

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
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Shawn Wright’s insurance will only cover 75 per cent of the flood damages done to his Hargrave Street home.

“I’m losing 25 per cent plus lost wages, etcetera, etcetera. It’s hard to live from that right now,” he said.

Wright was one of about 100 people at the Slovak Legion Thursday night learning more about a class action lawsuit a local law firm plans to file against the City of Thunder Bay for what it alleges is negligence in allowing the Atlantic Avenue Sewage Treatment Plant to flood.

“We’re definitely going to be in on this class action lawsuit to claim that other 25 per cent and our $1,000 deductible,” said Wright, adding the city should have planned for possible flooding when they built the plant.

“The whole street is not very happy with the city at all. There was zero action right off the hop from the city,” Wright added.

He estimates his family has lost $15,000 worth of property and the construction damage to his home is estimated to be another $15,000.

But Wright still considers himself lucky compared to some of his neighbours.

Fortunately, he’s still able to live in his house.

Amy McCormack hasn’t been able to live in her house on McLeod Street since the flooding.

“I lost everything. My house is unsuitable to live in right now,” she said.

McCormack said she lost all her personal belongings and her basement has to be gutted.

She signed onto the lawsuit because she believes the city didn’t take the proper precautions at the treatment plant and it has left people homeless.

“Luckily, I have family. A lot of people don’t,” she said.

Monique Young attended Thursday’s meeting to learn about the lawsuit and said she was just exhausting her options.

“I’m just here inquiring, trying to figure out what I can do for having no insurance,” she said.

Young had to gut her basement, which she said was fully furnished and carpeted.

“I’m sure everyone is going through the same thing,” she said.

Although Young said she thinks the response from the city has been wonderful, she believes it is their fault the plant flooded.

Lawyer Alexander Zaitzeff, with Watkins Law Professional Corporation, estimated about 100 people have signed onto the suit and people have told him they are unhappy with the city’s response to the flooding.

“They feel the disaster relief fund is too little, too late. It should be five times that amount as a starter for all of the people,” he said. “There are people whose very lives are so disrupted, they can become bankrupt.”

“The city should put up the money right now to help these people,” Zaitzeff said.

At the meeting, Zaitzeff also said his firm would not collect any fees from any of the plaintiffs unless they won the case.

“I believe this case is winnable and yes, I’ve sued the city before and won,” he said. “We’re not afraid of big institutions.”

Although he expects damages to vary, Zaitzeff said he would be surprised if the total was less than $50 million.

Many people have criticized the lawsuit, many saying it is too soon to consider suing the city. Zaitzeff said there is no reason to wait.

“Do you want to wait and drag it out and hope the city is going to pay you? We all know they’re not,” he said.



 

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Comments

We've improved our comment system.
advocate says:
Let's look at a liberal estimate.

100 people experiencing $100,000 in damage. We know that is not true. We know some may have experienced worse, but we also know that once the insurance companies come in, most experienced far less. Steve Wright is a good example. His costs were $7,500 ($30k x .25). Plus $1000 for insurance deductible.

So at 100 people x $100,000, which is the extreme, the total is $10 million. But Zaitzeff wants over $50 million.

These lawyers are nothing but vampires.
6/7/2012 8:50:03 PM
hopper says:
They're hoping more people will sign on, and they moved so fast to be the first ones in on the lawsuit. I do believe the victims of the sewage plant failure should sue, but not with these lawyers.
6/8/2012 9:54:35 AM
notherngrrl says:
My mom and step-dad had 2 feet of sewage, and were insured. But 4 of us took 2 weeks off work, their property is now extremely devalued, and they are most certainly NOT going to rebuild, especially not since the city can't even say this is not going to happen again. If the taxpayers of this city are mad about having to help pay for it, CHANGE YOUR CITY COUNCIL!!!!
I pay taxes, my brother and sister have moved away because they just couldn't stand the way their taxes were being used anymore and I for one would love to get out of here too.
Also, some deductibles go up to $5000. Some people didn't know they weren't covered in their insurance. What kind of idiots spend thousands on art no one voted for but doesn't ensure their sewage plant can't handle a weekend of rain?
6/8/2012 10:45:06 AM
Me n My Opinion says:
I voted for art.

The sewage plant was designed to handle 12 times normal capacity. Do people forget that the rain we had washed out roads all over the area? To say it was a weekend rain is ridiculous.

The city is addressing the issues. Two big parts of the problem are that old sump pumps drain into the sanitary sewer system. New codes don't allow this any more - any new installs pump to the storm system. The storm sewers installed decades ago also used to all flow through the sanitary sewer system. They are being re-routed as road construction is taking place. To fix them all at once is impossible logistically, let alone financially. The city has been taking the steps over the last few years to address exactly these problems. They have also increased their capital budgets for enhanced infrastructure spending. The only approach they can take to these problems is through a long term plan, which is what they have done.

We got a 100 year rain that it couldn't handle.
6/8/2012 2:02:17 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
I feel for your parents, as I do everyone who was affected. Fortunately for me I wasn't, but friends were. My wife and I have donated money, food, personal items and time to the victims of the flood, so my post above doesn't by any means mean that I don't care, because I do. I just think it's too early to point any fingers yet. And to say that the city has been ignoring the problem over the years is just false. It's being systematically addressed. All the other aspects of the city can't just stop to address one problem, especially when the capacity to fix it is limited by many factors anyway.
6/8/2012 2:10:57 PM
brooky says:
Clearly the weasels, I mean lawyers have nothing to lose here. It's a lottery for them. Sign up everyone that they can using fear tactics, put a $20.00 an hour weasel wannabe in charge of collecting the names of the fearful, and hope for the best. If they win, they collect millions that should be going to the victims of this situation instead. If they lose they're out a few grand. Pathetic.
6/7/2012 9:03:04 PM
nvjgu says:
Although I believe the city is responsable for The flooding and should be sued. People joining the class action have got to know that they will recieve next to nothing, compaired to if they went it alone.
6/7/2012 9:27:32 PM
citizenreporter says:
I don't understand why there is a lawsuit. It will take years to go through the court system, the relief funds would be ready before the court case is resolved. I'm also confused about why the city would be held responsible for covering those who didn't get insurance for their homes or apartments....
6/7/2012 9:32:50 PM
hopper says:
Because it's the city's fault all the people got sewage in their homes. Ever head of the concept of taking responsibility? Compensation?
6/8/2012 9:46:00 AM
DougMyers says:
I didn't realize that in your expert opinion the city is at fault.

Please enlighten us with your expert evidence as the rest of us seem to be in the dark it would seem.

I am not saying that a law suit is not needed but at this point the damage is not repaired and the source not determined.

These lawyers just wanted in before some other lawyer did. They are not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts but for the thickness of their wallets.

The rumour mill is running strong these days. Everyone is an expert and everyone in the city is a crook.
6/8/2012 12:00:02 PM
kirkpatrick says:
As an engineering student I'd like to chime in, as far as I know this was nowhere near the proverbial "100 year storm" we typically would take into account when considering the capabilities of any sewage treatment facility. The place should have been able to cope with tons of room to spare. Picture the Kam and Neebing AND Boulevard Lakes all overflowing in one night, as an example. We should have been able to handle that\The city seems to have taken a haphazard and less than careful approach to how it dealt with the expected rain and emergency response. I do believe the guys running the plant were completely shocked the system failed, because it should have handled the rain VERY easily. I feel really sorry for the folks around there, and the rest of the city for their callous attitudes. Selfish much?
6/8/2012 12:12:49 PM
Swirly-Q says:
There have been a few other Lakehead engineering students making similar assertions on this site. Frankly, it is starting to make me question the quality of education you are receiving.

The city may very well be liable for this failure but for you to unequivically state that this rainfall event was not a "100 year storm" with absolutely no supporting data is horribly irresponsible. I don't know the return period of the storm any more than you do but it is clear from the failed highway culverts that the storm exceeded the design storm for at least some engineering standards.

Also, as an aside, there is interesting reading all of the internet regarding municipal liability for flooding events and storm sewer backups. Some folks here should do some research.
6/8/2012 1:01:47 PM
kimchi says:
Interesting point of view, but the city has already admitted negligence in similar lawsuits and had to pay out damages. Just because you don't hear about it on the news doesn't mean it ain't so.
Don't believe me? That's what the freedom of information act is for. Look it up yourself.
Our city has known about these problems for a long time. That's why they're keeping quiet.

I'll bet you a dollar ;-)
YOU should do your research.
6/8/2012 8:04:05 PM
DougMyers says:
I hope you read for your degree better than these articles.

If this was a breach, as is suspected, then the amount of rain is irrelevant. That fact that water levels rose at all coupled with any breach would result in problems.

Once again I am not saying the city has no liability here, but once again, the rumour mill is running strong. Thanks for your contribution.

I certainly hope you are not calling me selfish. I never stated anything selfish at all. Simply that too many are jumping to conclusions.
6/8/2012 1:29:44 PM
springsteenfan says:
I believe if the city managers and infrastructure people don't know by now what's wrong they should be bringing in third party impartial engineers to determine it. Obviously they didn't know what they were doing in the first place to let this happen. It was catastrophic. Maybe some owed to the rain but not this amount of devastation. We NEED to hear from INDEPENDENT ENGINEERS! Nevermind trusting what the city is not telling us, they haven't released logs of that night and morning and they are available.
Also I work for the city and I know the SNAFUs that don't make the news. Things are run poorly and we workers know it.
6/8/2012 2:26:45 PM
northdeck says:
I'm certainly not an expert in this area, but let's be practical here! How an there be so much blame handed out for what was essentially a natural disaster. I don't think there was any gross negligence or intention to cause harm here on anyone's part. The whole situation is unfortunate, however laying out blame and pointing fingers isn't going to help us move forward. The city can't afford to dole out millions to lawyers and the uninsured.

These lawyers are pure opportunists and are likely attracting people are misguided and/or desperate. Like others, I foresee this being a lengthy process, with minimal good being done.

If it's true there were people who failed to have house insurance, this is a rude awakening, but you can't rely on others to bail you out (no pun intended).
6/8/2012 3:05:08 PM
yer joking says:
I bought a house at the bottom of the hill! It rained real hard. I got water in my house. Now somebody give me money , my house is wet and it's not my fault..If this was an act of God shouldn't the Church have to pay?
6/8/2012 6:46:21 PM
citizenreporter says:
Ever hear of the concept of insurance?

The city had no way of knowing this would happen.

The city has taken responsibility by calling in the Red Cross and salvation army, getting the city declared as a disaster zone, working on fixing the problem and getting funding for those in need.
6/9/2012 1:10:21 PM
Gord says:
About one hundred??? Why cant they tell us how many it is? Does he need a hand adding them up? Maybe lawyers cant count that high?
6/7/2012 9:47:37 PM
realist says:
Talk about a rush to judgement. The only ones who will benefit from this suit are Alexander Zaitzeff and Chris Watkins.

I get your frustration, but please wait until everything is done, before you sue yourself!
6/7/2012 9:50:09 PM
SomeGuy says:
Ask them what there fees will be if they win. It will probably be upwards of 25% of the settlement which means $12.5 will goto the lawyers. It will be 5-10 years before this lawsuit is settled, will cost the citizens of Thunder Bay millions of dollars to settle this.

In the end lawsuit is one the homeowners will probably get a few thousand dollars if that.
6/7/2012 10:09:01 PM
predictor says:
Sandy Zaitzeff and Chris Watkins are the right guys to fight this City Hall.
Mayor Hobbs is a good guy but the rest have to go. What these poor people are going though is not right. They deserve the fight!
6/7/2012 10:25:18 PM
ozone says:
Good to see the ambulance chasers are out in full force.

Looking to profit on the backs of the victims!
6/7/2012 10:27:46 PM
moonpie says:
I'm not a fan of lawyers myself but truth is, many businesses profit on the backs of victims. Look how many homes will need renovations - laborers, carpenters, drywallers, carpet installers etc - they're not going to work for free, the victims will have to pay.
6/8/2012 3:07:41 PM
big joe mufferaw says:
While I sympathize with the plight of all of us who were effected by the flood in any way shape or form let's consider this:
1. Who are we suing? The city.
2. Where does the city get its money? From us, the taxpayer.
3. If it is successful, who is going to benefit from the law suit? Some of the sufferers will and the lawyers.
4. If it is unsuccessful, who is going to benefit from the law suit? The lawyers.

Let's wait a few days and see what Ms. Wynn says tomorrow about disaster relief.

Let's never forget the giant heart of Thunder Bay that has stepped up with almost $300,000 so far...donations.

Let's also consider what an acrimonious litigation will do to that giant heart.

I don't see much good coming from this lawsuit.
6/7/2012 10:30:17 PM
keep it real says:
I hate the idea of sueing the city over a freak storm, but as an INSURED homeowner that has had structural damage to his home what else can I do?
The crooked piece of crap insurance company that insists on taking my money every year has brought in their own crooked piece of crap adjusters and engineers. The company has taken a stand that they cover sewer cleanup only, even though the water that flled and damaged my basement was gushing up my drain the crooked adjuster say's my damage was seepage. I had 4 feet of water that came from the drain and filled my basement, I paid for insurance and now some goof from london ont can take a 5 min look at my basement and make theese determinations
I feel sorry for those without insurance and for those with wawa, what a joke outfit they turned out to be.
6/7/2012 10:57:39 PM
cazaam says:
I guess we will all have to pay even more at the end of the day.

Should these people also receive assistance from charity donations or government funds?
6/7/2012 11:01:57 PM
ranma says:
Bets that of that "50 million" at least 10% will go to "lawyers fees". This is a dream for most lawyers, to have a class action suit like this. His firm is going to make big bucks, while everyone will still be screwed.
6/7/2012 11:03:12 PM
hopper says:
I didn't sign on because I think it's prudent to wait and see what the city owns up to first. But I will never recoup my losses in this, and I know there are thousands of others who won't either. I hope the city does take responsibility, so I am waiting. I'd rather take Hacio's advice which seemed more impartial and careful.
6/7/2012 11:15:10 PM
pearlman says:
Damn ambulance chasers!
6/7/2012 11:35:55 PM
wayne says:
I understand going after the deductible. Even the hydro costs for fans/dehumidifiers running 24/7. However, the 75% insurance coverage is 75% of the replacement cost for new items. For example, if you have a 20 yr old sofa that got ruined and you go to Leon's to buy a replacement at say $1,000, the insurance will pay you $750. Not a bad deal considering that 25% or more of the 'junk' that was ruined will not be replaced by homeowners but paid for by 75% of new replacement value!

If you have not spoken with an insurance adjustor yet, do so. Here are some tips I've learned (which depend upon your insurance company and individual policy)
There are 3 insurance limits; Building (floors, walls, furnaces, hot water tanks, fireplaces, toilets, vanities, etc. anything that is 'nailed' down), Property (anything not nailed down), ALE (alternate living expenses)

If a clean-up crew uses fans/dehumidifiers, the insurance company will get a value on the electricity consumption.
6/8/2012 12:17:31 AM
wayne says:
(continued)

Most insurance companies pay for family/friends helping to remove items from the flooded basement at $15/hr per person.

In terms of alternate living expenses, most insurance companies provide $25 per person per day if you stay at a family or friend's house. A family of four would get $100 per day, which does not include meals. In other words, groceries would be covered too, along with restaurant purchases.

Mileage is also covered for transportation to and from your temporary lodging.

I mention these things for those who do not receive them under their insurance so you can use them in the class-action lawsuit.

More importantly, your insurance rates are going to increase, and your property/home value will decrease. City taxes must decrease for depreciated home values, and the City should be obligated to offset the increases in insurance rates.
6/8/2012 12:31:57 AM
racki says:
Now Zaitzeff and all the reno companies will get rich and my taxes and insurance will go through the roof. And my basement was DRY. I feel for all the people who have lost and been through this hassle, but lets be real. Most of the people will and up with brand new basements, TV's couches etc. And the rest will be stuck paying out the whazoooo.
6/8/2012 8:36:53 AM
notherngrrl says:
I feel sorry for you, because clearly, like a whole lot of the rest of the city, you don't have a clue as to the extent of the damages and stress the victims of this widespread sewage backup are suffering. Oh they'll get new TVs, how arrogant can you get???? Don't say you feel for the people, it's a whole lot more than a hassle and if you're too ignorant to see that I hope this never happens to you or someone you love. If you don't like paying for the mistakes of your council, complain to THEM, not about the people who suffered at their negligence!
6/8/2012 10:52:08 AM
PurpleLeaves says:
Negligence? Who's to say there was negligence? I didn't know you were an authority on the facility? This was a storm! 5 pumps failed! Did you want city staff at the station with buckets bailing the building all night?
6/8/2012 11:08:32 AM
Sui Generis says:
Did the city purposely cause the plant to fail?
No.
Does that make them any less legally liable?
No.

It's their plant, their responsibility. And it did fail. That failure cost a lot of people a LOT of money. That money has to be recouped somehow. It's not a pretty picture, but it is a very simple one.
6/8/2012 12:07:02 PM
kimchi says:
Um it's readily available information that the city has claimed liability before in very similar legal cases. In other words lost They have known about these problems for quite some time and did nothing to fix them or even alert people living in the area, and now thousands are suffering because of it.
That's who's to say there was negligence.
6/8/2012 8:16:42 PM
kirkpatrick says:
Can you get any more obnoxious?
And purpleleaves it wasn't a "freak storm". It was a bad storm but in no way should that have broken the sewer plant's ability to cope. By your exact same token who's to say there **wasn't** negligence? Curious as to why you're so gung ho. I'm an engineering student at your Lakehead U and I'll tell ya right now your plant should have been able to handle it. Somethin' went wrong and thousands of people were exposed to raw sewage and had their homes ruined.
6/8/2012 12:06:33 PM
northdeck says:
Just because you are an "engineering student" at LU, that doesn't make you an expert in the structural engineering of a sewer plant. Come on! Grow up and stop expressing misinformed opinions! "Somethin' went wrong here," isn't all that technical. If you know what happened, let's hear some facts and figures.
6/8/2012 3:21:01 PM
gramortolan says:
this is a very ignorant comment.
6/8/2012 12:38:28 PM
nursegreen says:
Wow, did you really just downplay these losses that way?
I agree, I feel sorry for you.
Go see for yourself what happened, I can tell from your post you did NOT.
Some people!
6/8/2012 2:43:24 PM
beakir says:
Your going to make the lawyers richer than they are and get any settlement from the city in about 15 yrs.
6/8/2012 9:24:31 AM
PurpleLeaves says:
This is ridiculous and all you who are within the 100 should be ashamed of yourselves. The city is putting money aside, the province says they are in and the feds will surely follow. These lawyers don't care about you Eastenders, they don't. They want greens and that's it. As far as negligence and recouping losses, this was a freak storm that dumped an enormous amount of water. 5 pumps failed people!? I wonder how you leeches would get your money if there was a tornado? City should have built a giant wall to save us? Disgusting. I take this as an insult as someone who has chipped in to help and donated money. Bah!!
6/8/2012 10:58:27 AM
justsayin' says:
I'm thinking back to 1996 when Atikokan was flooded and people had sewage backup in their homes due to the pumping stations throughout the town being under water (as they are all built very close to the river on the floodplain). I'm pretty sure there were no class action lawsuits against the town for building the sewage stations so close to the river...then again there isn't any money-hungry lawyers there trying to take advantage of people's fragile emotions either...
6/8/2012 11:33:46 AM
kirkpatrick says:
I believe Atikokan residents did win that law suit. I'm from Kenora but I think they did win that suit
6/8/2012 12:24:05 PM
brandnewlow says:
my place flooded.. i am not going in on this.. i dont see the point..

6/8/2012 12:10:03 PM
dozerman says:
Atikokan residents did file lawsuits. They won but it took years and only got peanuts! Now no one in Atikokan can get flood insurance!
6/8/2012 12:17:07 PM
TB4life says:
This will be a waste of time and will cuase nothing but tears. the people will expect a payday most of the houses in the east end are worth 45 to 60 at most if they tried to sell before this happened city should give them the cost of there house and nothing else. if you cant get insurance then thats a red flag for buying a house there you gambled and lost life with the life choice.
6/8/2012 12:29:11 PM
homelessteen says:
My house would have easy listed between 110 and 115 would have ta3 bedrooms, refinnished hardwood throughout, all new windows, kitchen and bath done last year the list goes on.

The teens (3) had their hang out in the basement complete with drums guitars amps fooze ball, 4 different game systems 200 + games, laundry room, slept 5 on sleep overs with new bunk beds.

about 15000 in clothing and outerwear
Pumas, Nikes, real Uggs 3/4 length leathers Mustang floating skidoo suits, Carhart winterwear, Cat woorkboots and 10 extra large bags of brand name clothing for a family of 6

There are alot of people down here that work and earn good wages don't kid yourself alot of homeowners have nice homes.

We are not all rockin it ghetto down here.

I have total coverage and will still lose my shirt so to speak on contents?
6/8/2012 7:30:53 PM
Mightyconcerned says:
We need more answers to basic questions published in mainstream media.
What was the real reason for the sewage plant failure?
Failure on the part of the operator on call to respond?
Is it possible to direct excess sewage directly to the river in a emergency rainfall or is river level to high?
Pumps did not have enough pumping capacity?
Why is there not more flow restriction on parking lots drains, i.e. back the water up in a parking lot before the sewage plant becomes overloaded.
Extreme flooding like what happened here has already happened in many other cities across the country. We know our weather is more extreme than ever before, it was just a matter of time before this happened, and sorry to say, don't fix your basement yet without a sewer backflow valve because it will happen again. We pay our city workers to look ahead, foresee problems, and correct them before they happen. Where was our leaders?
6/8/2012 12:32:20 PM
gramortolan says:
thank you the city representatives are not giving us a chance to ask these questions, we need answers. ps my home was appraised last fall at 152000 after my husband passed on. we have lived on mcintosh street for 34 years and never had a flood. thank you for letting me voice my opinion here.
6/8/2012 12:57:40 PM
Rob20 says:
Zaitzeff and Watkins are sleazy vampires looking to profit off the misfortune of others and pad their own pockets along the way. I feel for all those affected and do feel they deserve support/relief but how can you say the city could plan for a once in 50 years downpour? That's ridiculous. These lawyers represent deverything that's bad about the law. If thet were really out to help the people affected they'd do this pro bono. How noble... "We'll only collect our standard 30-40% if we win"... you warm my heart Zaitzeff. You'll pad your pocket with $20 million at the expense of all the rest of us taxes payers paying for that outlay for the next 20 years. Thanks a lot you piece of trash.
6/8/2012 1:13:59 PM
Mightyconcerned says:
We need more answers to basic questions published in mainstream media.
What was the real reason for the sewage plant failure?
Failure on the part of the operator on call to respond?
Is it possible to direct excess sewage directly to the river in a emergency rainfall or is river level to high?
Pumps did not have enough pumping capacity?
Why is there not more flow restriction on parking lots drains, i.e. back the water up in a parking lot before the sewage plant becomes overloaded.
Extreme flooding like what happened here has already happened in many other cities across the country. We know our weather is more extreme than ever before, it was just a matter of time before this happened, and sorry to say, don't fix your basement yet without a sewer backflow valve because it will happen again. We pay our city workers to look ahead, foresee problems, and correct them before they happen. Where was our leaders?
6/8/2012 2:10:17 PM
SBN says:
Throughout this disaster i have had the opportunity to spend days in the trouble zones around the city. My heart goes out to the city employees who have worked had to help people in need. I do not know who's at fault, i do not care about that right now, what i do care about are the people who have had their lives changed by this disaster, natural disaster, sewage plant back-up, whatever you want to call it. As far as the lawyers are concerned i do not know them, but would like them to come and help out on the ground level, and get a reality check.
6/8/2012 2:11:46 PM
Mightyconcerned says:
We need more answers to basic questions published in mainstream media.
What was the real reason for the sewage plant failure?
Failure on the part of the operator on call to respond?
Is it possible to direct excess sewage directly to the river in a emergency rainfall or is river level to high?
Pumps did not have enough pumping capacity?
Why is there not more flow restriction on parking lots drains, i.e. back the water up in a parking lot before the sewage plant becomes overloaded.
Extreme flooding like what happened here has already happened in many other cities across the country. We know our weather is more extreme than ever before, it was just a matter of time before this happened, and sorry to say, don't fix your basement yet without a sewer backflow valve because it will happen again. We pay our city workers to look ahead, foresee problems, and correct them before they happen. Where was our leaders?
6/8/2012 3:20:12 PM
SudburyOntario says:
I feel like somebody from this class action lawsuit just needs to take a seadoo out at night to take a good look at the damage.
6/8/2012 7:48:19 PM
citizenreporter says:
What would they see from a seadoo? Which damage are you referring to? At the plant?
6/13/2012 1:16:46 PM
Tom Sanderson says:
Nothing in this world is immune from failure. The devices that failed are man made, electro mechanical and are built to work to specific tolerances. Say what you want, the accumulation of rain that fell in the proceeding days compounded by the immense downpour the night of the failure exceeded any rainfall I've seen here in 26 years.
The class action lawsuit is going to have to wait while the city sues the engineering company that designed the sewer plant. That company is going to sue the pump maker and the bickering is going to go on for many years.
The saddest part of it all is that there is going to be as much fraud associated with this event as there has been with last years hail storm.
There is nothing in this world that is free as there is a cost associated with everything. Wait until home insurance renewal time and see the increase in premiums which will never drop ever again. They just keep getting more and more expensive as people scam the systems.
6/8/2012 10:01:20 PM
cazaam says:
I would consider myself an average user of water. There are 5 people in my family, I rarely water my lawn but I do make a hockey rink in the winter. I use about 50$/month of water and additinally pay about 37.50$ for sewage.

If there are 52,000 households in Thunder Bay () paying the same average price that works out to about 1.95M$.....even half of that is about 1M$ and that does not even include all the commercial and industrial water users.

The question is, how is this money being spent?
6/8/2012 10:09:02 PM
cazaam says:
I would consider myself an average user of water. There are 5 people in my family, I rarely water my lawn but I do make a hockey rink in the winter. I use about 50$/month of water and additinally pay about 37.50$ for sewage.

If there are 52,000 households in Thunder Bay () paying the same average price that works out to about 1.95M$.....even half of that is about 1M$ and that does not even include all the commercial and industrial water users.

The question is, how is this money being spent?
6/9/2012 12:11:23 AM
magna65 says:
these insurance companies should be sued...the the way these adjusters treat these flooded out people who lost every thing ..im sayiny not all of them but most of them,,but the one that i have is ridiculous...nick picking .or saying that value of some items are the same if u had a yard sale ,,or u can wash some items down ..come on now these items are contanmated full off bactaria ..im a flood victim i lost every thing i had .. every thing is stored in basements its a storage area ..im on atibotics right now because my hand is infected from that sewage water my son had to go the emerg because he has health issues and was coughing 4 days do these insurance companies care about your health ,,not in the least ..i lost 2 weeks wages from work which they say is not covered .which i may go after the city 4 those wages ..im broke i been burrowing money just to make ends meet because i missed 2 weeks of work ..if any body should be sued its them
6/9/2012 9:05:11 AM
predictor says:
What amounts? The homes are now worth nothing! It is possible the ground is now poisoned from the underground back up of pressure including what ever chemicals were in the ground being pushed into the basements. And it will be there for a long time. The weeping tile is also probababley blocked and contaminated. People will have to wait for 5 to ten years to see if they or their children have contracted hep A or B. People and their families were walking in raw sewage and whatever other contaminates were in the ground water. Who is going to buy a home in this area? Up to 3000 worthless homes that alone is over two billion dollars let alone the injuries from nervous shock, post traumatic stress disorder and other physical health problems. This is like an oil spill or a chemical spill. We need lawyers who will fight. Sandy Zaitzef has done 30 similar claims during his career and both he and Chris Watkins are fighters. They are in our community went to the homes!
6/9/2012 10:11:56 AM
DazeofThunder says:
Employee #1, "Hey did you hear about all the rain we are supposed to be getting this week? Do you think the system can handle it?" Employee #2, " Yeah I did....but the boss hasn't said anything and that's why he is making the big bucks. Me? I just work here with what I got and look forward to the weekends with my family." Employee #2, "Yeah, me too. I will keep my fingers crossed that everything turns out ok though. Have a great weekend!" Prelude to a disaster?
6/9/2012 10:43:23 AM
passlake says:
from May 20 to May 26 we had 77mm of rain, with 48mm of that coming on the 24th. On the 27th we got another 91.3mm

I was out near Kakabeka on the Friday before the "big one". It was obvious to me that our waterways were already pretty high and our ground was already pretty saturated before the "big" storm hit. Had the ground been dry and we had a week of sun prior to the 91.3mm, we would've been way better off.. but the ground can only absorb so much before it runs off and into the sewer system.

This wasn't a single isolated storm that caused the flooding. It was an accumulation of significant amounts within an 8 day period, along with whatever human-relate factors that will be made public once they are able to get to the bottom of things. (yes, pun intended)
6/9/2012 10:49:43 AM
Tom Sanderson says:
Oh, but you can't paint that picture because some of the people who got flooded because of cracked basement walls and ground saturation won't be eligible for disaster relief or insurance coverage. There are houses in the city that are 150 feet higher than the east end that got flooded and the sewage plant had nothing to do with their situation.
6/9/2012 9:35:12 PM
outside looking in says:
I can't believe how quickly people try to lay blame. These are probably the same ones that would not want their taxes reaise to pay for upgrading an approx 30 to 40 year old plant. How much do you think your taxes will be raised by a lawsuite settlement after the lawyers take their cut?
6/9/2012 2:22:33 PM
Tom Sanderson says:
You hit the nail on the head.
6/9/2012 9:19:16 PM
ClaireDawn says:
Ok I feel bad for the people who lost so much as a result of this disaster and have done what I can to help.
But, for the ones who have had floods before or who knew that they weren't covered because of previous floods why would you not take the initiative to prevent future floods. Obviously if it has happened before it will probably happen again unless the problem is properly addressed. To me not fixing the problem if you were aware of it and then suing the City is a bit ridiculous.
I know some people had no idea they were not covered or didn't know about flooding problems so they wouldn't know there was anything to fix.
The plant was also built when building codes and engineering standards were not up to todays standards so for all those engineering students need to remember that. The city has been making changes to the system over time but to update the entire sewer system (plant and residential) at once would be nearly impossible and not to mention cost more than the lawsuit
6/9/2012 8:34:54 PM
hadenough says:
I think you're missing the point a little bit.
People who got flooded from the rains: leaking basements, failed sump pumps etc are pretty much out of luck.
The issue is that the City system backed up and many people (mostly in the East End and Intercity area) were flooded by sewage and not necessarily by seepage. That's the contentious part of the law suit.
The onus will be on the people damaged by sewage to prove in court that the City was knowingly negligent thus causing the damages to their property.
This will be a long time proving and at the end of the day, after their percentage and costs, only the lawyers will benefit. There won't be any payouts anytime soon, maybe 3-15 years down the road.
6/10/2012 4:51:35 PM
anarnosti says:
I hope the "150" people that have joined this lawsuit realize that the next time theres a disaster the community wont be so quick to help in every way that they can. Shame on you people, you disgust me. The entire country is doing everything they can for you (maybe not as fast as you'd like) but yet thats still not enough and you need more... *shakes head* The only word that comes to mind at the moment is Greedy.

6/14/2012 9:55:21 AM
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