Can a water company be held liable for damages on the inside of your home due to a leak in a main water line?

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Can a water company be held liable for damages on the inside of your home due to a leak in a main water line?

7 days ago there was a leak in a water main down the street from our house. For the past 7 days we have either had no water, discolored water, or nothing but high pressure air running through our lines and shooting out of our faucets every time we turned them on. Because of this, our toilet was damaged(replaced the float) and the heating element in our 1 year old water heater burnt out because there was no water supplied to it. 2 of our neighbors have had the same thing happen with their water heaters as well. The water company said that it was impossible for this to happen. What can I do?

Asked on September 30, 2010 under Business Law, Kentucky

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, of course you can try.  Whether or not you will win depends on if the leak in the water main was deemed to be negligence on their part and the damages to you and your neighbors were foreseeable in the matter.  Remember in New York when there was a big black out?  Business owners and homeowners alike filed claims against the power company  (then Con Ed) for damages to their stores and homes as a result of the lost electricity.  You need to get an expert of some sort as to the water heater and a link that causally relates the damage to the lack of water.  If all of you ban together and sue then the "strength in numbers" scenario as well as probability works in your favor.  Seek legal help.  Good luck.    


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