Sewage settlement may not end litigation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sewage settlement may not end litigation

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Despite efforts to settle with two northwest Albany families over sewage that backed up in their home, the city could still face a lawsuit. One family signed a deal, but the other family backed out of the settlement.

The offered a settlement in this case, but that doesn't mean they're taking responsibility for the sewage that filled every inch of the two Forest Glen Drive homes. City officials say if the Powell's file suit, the city will sue them.

 It's been seven months since this horrific scene when sewage coated the Powells' and Freeneys' Forest Glen homes. With the mess finally cleaned up and furniture replaced, the Powells reached a settlement with the city.

"They had itemizations on furniture items, carpet items, clean up items and all of that was taken into consideration," said Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis.

The family was paid more than $58,431 which according to the agreement includes any personal injuries to the Powell's but at the last minute the Freeneys backed out.

"We understand that we met the deadline for the settlement and they say that they withdrew their offer and I guess ends up being a matter that's litigated," said Davis.

The city received notice Attorney Robert Margeson plans to file a personal injury lawsuit on the Freeneys behalf.

"They said the settlement was limited to a property damage matter as opposed to a full settlement, we said that it was a full settlement, and that's the matter that will be litigated," said Davis.

In December when the incident happened, city officials told us if the incident was their fault they would compensate the families, but in the agreement with the families, they take no responsibility for the sewage explosion inside the homes.

"There was not any causation for these damages, it was just better for matters to be settled if possible and we thought we had a settlement with both families," said Davis.

Now both the city and Freeneys are prepared to settle the dispute in a courtroom.

The Powells say they're satisfied with the agreement. The Freeneys and their Attorney Robert Margeson didn't want to speak because of the continuing legal situation. The city plans a counter suit against the Freeney's if they file because they say both families had agreed to the settlement.

The Freeneys bills amounted to over $29,000. They were offered the same $58,431 settlement the Powells were offered.

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