City Denies Claim After Raw Sewage Floods Woman's House - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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City Denies Claim After Raw Sewage Floods Woman's House

Erin Jackson's Kennedale home was flooded with sewage in March

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    City Denies Claim After Raw Sewage Floods Woman's House

    The city of Kennedale has denied the claim of a woman whose home was flooded in raw sewage. The culprit was a city sewage line that was backed up, but the city said they are not legally obligated to cover the damage. (Published Monday, May 20, 2019)

    In March, Erin Jackson said raw sewage flooded her home, damaging her floors, baseboards, bathrooms, bedrooms and many of her appliances.

    "There is not enough bleach in the tub that will get me to sit in that tub again," she said.

    A backed-up city sewage line caused the problem, costing Jackson roughly $50,000 in repairs.

    Since NBC 5 Responds' first story aired, we've heard from a few other homeowners who claimed this was not just a freak accident.

    "They have historic problems that they knew existed and did not take steps to fix," Jackson said.

    She thought she had all of the evidence she needed to convince the city that this was their responsibility to fix.

    But Jackson recently got a call from the city informing her that they were denying her claim, but would offer $7,700 as a gesture of goodwill to help with the clean up.

    "This is a giant economic burden for me," she said. "How can a consumer get stuck paying all of this? How can a citizen get stuck paying all of this when I did nothing wrong?"

    NBC 5 Responds had the same questions for Kennedale's city manager, George Campbell, who hasn't returned recent emails.

    So, we went down to city hall to pay Campbell a visit.

    He didn't agree to talk on camera, but he did sit down to break down the law.

    Campbell said because of the Texas Tort Claims Act, there isn't a city in Texas that's liable for damage due to a city sewage backup.

    He said if they decided to approve Jackson's claim, it would set a precedent all over the state, and consumers would be subject to higher premiums.

    Campbell said they city had no control over what people put down their drains, and in this case, the city did all it's obligated to do for this homeowner.

    "It's sounds ludicrous. But when you look at the law, that's how it's written. That's what our elected officials have chosen to do to the citizens," Jackson said.

    She said because the city has neglected it's sewage lines for years, she believed her case should be an exception to that law.

    "They don't know me. I have nothing but time on my hands. I have years to pursue this and that is what I will do," she said.

    Jackson said that she rejected the city's gesture of goodwill because she saw it as an insult.

    She said she's currently meeting with attorneys and other homeowners who said the same thing happened to them.

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