Woman sues BC village after sewage backed up into her sink and tub

Feb 28 2023, 8:27 pm

A woman in BC took matters into her own hands and sued an entire village over a sewage incident.

The village in question is Tahsis, BC, located around 300 km northwest of Victoria.

The woman took the village of Tahsis to the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal after sewage got backed up into her sink and tub, and she claimed that the village was responsible.

Rita Ann Aedan was the impacted homeowner, and she suggested she was owed $3,701.60 for costs related to investigating and repairing the sewage blockage. She represented herself, while Tahsis was represented by an officer, who claimed it actually wasn’t the village’s fault that the sewage system got blocked and impacted her home.

The tribunal member overseeing the small claims case was Sherelle Goodwin, who noted that Tahsis submitted no documentary evidence.

Aedan discovered sewage backup in her bathtub, toilet, and kitchen sink in January 2022. She then hired a contractor to investigate the source of the jam. The contractor revealed an uncapped cement sewer clean-out clogged with debris, plus an old clay pipe that had broken off the clean-out. These facts were supported by photos that Aedan submitted.

The contractor repaired the clean-out and replaced the broken pipe, which cost Adean $3,071.60.

Aedan felt that the village should’ve paid for the investigation and repair costs since it was responsible for maintaining and repairing the municipal sewer system.

Tahsis, meanwhile, claimed that Aedan was responsible under the village’s bylaws.

Aedan provided a statement from the contractor, which said that the impacted fixtures weren’t actually on her lot but on a neighbouring lot.

After reviewing the relevant bylaws and analyzing where the fault occurred, Goodwin found Tahsis was responsible.

As a result, Goodwin ordered the village of Tahsis to pay Aedan $3,324.90, which included the original $3,071.60 she paid for the investigation and repair, $52.49 in pre-judgment interest, and $200 in CRT fees.

 

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