The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published January 15, 2020

Resident sues Osage Beach for property damage


OSAGE BEACH – A resident is suing the City of Osage Beach for damages to her home that she claims is due to the city’s negligence.

Last Wednesday (January 8) Attorney Christopher M. Rohrer filed a petition in Camden County Court against the city on behalf of property owner Cathy Lane.

The petition states that water damage occurred to her home due to work being done – and then neglected – by the city, which resulted in $25,000 in damage.

The petition says that on April 8, 2010 the city (Defendant) sent a letter to Cathy Lane and neighboring property owners on Conway Lane, requesting that they give the city a permanent road easement and in return, the city agreed to obtain ownership of the road and storm drainage system for maintenance purposes.

Lane agreed to it and the city received the easement from the property owner.

According to the petition, it was eight years later (August 2018) that the city performed work that resulted in the damage to the home.

“In August 2018, the Defendant’s Public Works Department employees cut out of a section of curb in front of Plaintiffs’ property for purposes of installing a new water meter. This section of curb measured approximately three feet in length and was removed approximately four feet above the location of a large drain designed to carry the runoff from uphill out to the Lake of the Ozarks through a large pipe.

“On or about August 28-29, 2018 Defendant’s crew, knowing or should have known of the chances for rain, abandoned the project without taking any measure to protect Plaintiffs’ property from up-hill storm water runoff from the Conway Lane, leaving the cut-out section of curb to create a diversion of the flow of storm water runoff from Conway Lane directly onto Plaintiffs’ property.”

Then, according to the filed court document, rain came and flowed into the home causing the damage.

“On or about August 29, 2018 a rainstorm caused copious amounts of runoff that otherwise would have gone into the storm drain and out to the Lake to be diverted directly onto Plaintiffs’ property, from where it entered into their home causing catastrophic water damage in excess of $25,000.

“Despite demand made to Defendant and its insurance carrier to pay for the damages to Plaintiffs’ property, Plaintiffs have not been compensated for their damages.”

The petition states three counts to which they feel the city is guilty and should pay for the damages.

Count I – Negligence

• “Defendant owed Plaintiffs a duty to conduct its public works operations in such a manner as not to cause damage to their property.
• Defendant’s actions, through its public works employees, created a condition that diverted stormwater runoff directly onto Plaintiffs’ property.
• That the stormwater runoff diverted onto Plaintiffs’ property caused by Defendant’s negligence resulted in extensive damage to Plaintiffs’ property in an amount exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00).

Count II. — Breach of Contract

• “Defendant entered a contract with Plaintiffs for Defendant to take ownership of Conway Lane and the storm drainage system for maintenance purposes in return for Plaintiffs giving Defendant a permanent road easement.
• Plaintiffs performed their obligation under the contract by giving Defendant a permanent road easement.
• That on or about August 29, 2018 Defendant breached its contractual obligation to Plaintiffs by failing to maintain the roadway and storm drainage system in a manner that would prevent damage to their property.
• That the stormwater runoff diverted onto Plaintiffs’ property caused by Defendant’s breach of contract resulted in extensive damage to Plaintiffs’ property in an amount exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00).

Count III. - Nuisance

• “Defendant on or about August 28-29, 2018 maintained Conway Lane, its property, in such a manner that it caused an unreasonable interference with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.
• Defendant’s actions, through its public works employees, created a condition that diverted stormwater runoff directly onto Plaintiffs’ property.
• That the stormwater runoff diverted onto Plaintiffs’ property caused by Defendant’s nuisance creation resulted in extensive damage to Plaintiffs’ property in an amount exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00).
• That the stormwater runoff diverted onto Plaintiffs’ property caused by Defendant’s nuisance creation resulted in the Plaintiffs’ loss of use and enjoyment of their property, mental anguish, physical discomfort, anxiety, emotional distress and other damages in an amount exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00).”

The suit is asking for a jury trial and is seeking an amount from the city in excess of $25,000 “together with their costs and interest at the statutory rate and all such other and further relief that the Court deems just and equitable.”

As of press time the city has not responded in court to the lawsuit.

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