East Liverpool couple called everyone in the book, then they called a lawyer

LISBON – An East Liverpool couple are suing the city in county Common Pleas Court for damages to their home following heavy rains this past July.

Clarence and Mary Lee Ammon, 719 Midway Lane, contend on July 10, 2013 they awoke to the sound of pouring rain and loud cracking or snapping sounds in their basement. Water was discovered throughout the basement and the concrete floor buckled. Additionally, sewage water reportedly sprayed three feet in the air from the basement toilet and out of the basement floor drain.

The couple called for help and two city firefighters accessed the situation and reportedly determined there was nothing that could be done.

The Ammons then reportedly contacted the federal Emergency Management Agency, which in turn told them to contact the county Emergency Management Agency.

Additionally, the lawsuit claims the couple called Mayor James Swoger; Ryan Estell, the safety-service director, and his assistant, Dan Galeoti; Bill Cowan, planning director; Luke Newbold, director of county EMA; Bob Disch, utilities director; the treatment plant; Jeff Cameron of the sewage/sanitary department; the street department and health department; Charles Payne, law director; and the Ohio EPA.

Following up, on July 15 the sewage department sent three men to look at the sewer system. Dye reportedly was put into the basement toilet and the Ammons were told the toilet lines looked like they ran into the city lines.

Also on July 15 the couple attended council, but were not allowed to speak. However, that was a special meeting during which public comment is never allowed.

After the meeting they reportedly spoke to the mayor and three councilmen, Scott Barrett, Tom Cunningham and Ryan Stovall. The three councilmen came to the house and said the city needed to check the storm and sewer drains to see what happened.

On July 16, Swoger, John Phares, Cowan and the acting supervisor of the sewer department reportedly went to their home. According to the couple, the acting supervisor said the problem was the city was supposed to put in new lines from Manor Lane up to Midway, but it did not happen.

Home insurance would only pay $5,000. Mike Pusateri Excavating quoted them an estimate of $30,382, while Hissom Roofing and General Contracting estimated $35,000.

The couple is concerned about having the repairs only to see it happen again during the next big storm.

They are seeking $30,382 for the cost of the repairs, plus attorney fees and an order for the city to repair the city drains and sewer lines around the home.

Besides naming the city, the lawsuit names the city sewage treatment plant, sewage department, planning department and street department all as defendants in the case.