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Burst Drain Pipe

Smithtown, NY: (Feb-5-08) Jim and Jean Kane, Smithtown homeowners, brought charges against the town, after a town-owned drainage pipe burst underneath a Fort Salonga backyard lawn. The suit claimed that the water from the burst pipe, which ran underneath the Kanes' backyard, blasted an 18-foot deep hole and substantially shifted the ground around it, making the Kanes' pool unusable, compromising parts of their house, ruining the backyard and destroying the stairs to the beach. Records show that Smithtown originally denied the Kanes' claim, citing municipal law that requires a prior notice of defect. The law states that a municipality must be notified in advance of a defect, such as a crumbling sidewalk, and be given a chance to fix it before it is held liable for damage.

The Kanes alleged that they had alerted the town to problems with the pipe over the years, as it was the town's responsibility. The suit claimed that more than 3,000 cubic yards of trap rock were needed to fill the gaping hole, and a temporary road had to be constructed across the Kanes property to accommodate bulldozers, cranes and large trucks. As part of a settlement reached, the town of Smithtown agreed to pay homeowners Jim and Jean Kane $260,000 to pay for damages to their waterfront property. [NEWSDAY: BURST DRAIN PIPE]

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Published on Feb-6-08


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