Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Legal Advice Needed...

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,184
Okay, here is the sitution...

The week of Christmas, our basement flooded. Apparently, our neighbor (
by the way) built a door shutting his basement off from the rest of his house, ergo not letting enough heat down there to keep the pipes flowing...they eventually froze, burst and flooded into our section of the townhouse.

Now, normally this would be an "oh s***" situation...but my frusteration becomes an issue because this also happened the year before. So, two years in a row, he has flooded our property for the same reason!

Now, to be fair, the year before, he had been very sick...in and out of the hospital all Fall. When he did return home, we was bed ridden and never bothered to ask his full time live in nurse to open the door to the basement allowing the proper amount of heat to circulate. At the time, we were incredibly frusterated with him and the situation, but lucky since we had just started our basement remodel and the room was essentially empty of "soft" material like carpet...although the first flood did ruin many boxes, hockey sticks, and other things we had down there. After the first flood, our neighbor had cleaning crews in and out of his house...carpet replaced...the works all within a matter of days, yet never bothered to inquire about our mess even after my husband notified them that we took on water as well. Mark, God love him, let it slide--saying that clearly this man was very sick and we didn't loose anything we couldn't easily replace. We had to have walls torn down, rebuilt and repainted.

So, we let it go. All Summer we were warm and friendly...smiles, waves. All of this was in passing as he'd get on his motorcycle or head off with his girlfriend.

Then, we flood again. This time, our basement is finished. We'd put in tile...but we also had numerous area rugs that were waiting to be dotted around the house...we had furniture, I had Christmas presents. This time, things that mattered were ruined. It was devestating. Mark managed to get a clean up crew in quickly who dried out our walls...but the rest was loss. His insurance agent came by to assess the damage...took some rugs with him. And then, nothing. His insurance agent directed to our HOA to handle settling the issue. When we spoke with our HOA, they said that our neighbor is claiming to be bed ridden (which is a lie) and that we should cover our own damage because he didn't realize the we flooded.


Now, I don't think legally because "sick" is an excuse...but I don't know. And, on top of that...he is not bed ridden...bed ridden people don't ride Harleys, and go on weekend trips with their girlfriend. What should I do from here? Sue him for the damages? Go back to his insurance? Cover mine (which means paying a deductable)? I am so frusterated...and I would just let it go...but we're talking thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage this time around....

ETA: I should mention that we also had to have electrical work done this time, since the basement does double duty as my husbands office too...so we had to replace a fried computer, and other office equpiment as well. Big bucks.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
First--I'm sorry you're dealing with this.
Second--I'm not a lawyer, but here's what I'd do:
If you can, start documenting when he's out and about. Pictures, a journal(list time, date, who he was with, what he was wearing and doing).
File a claim with your insurance and let them go after the guy. If it's thousands and thousands of dollars then even a deductible is worth it. Besides, you'll get it back if they get the guy.
If that's a problem, sue the guy

I don't think you can bring the flooding from last year into the case other than to show it was an existing condition and he's liable. There's no way for you to prove that it affected your basement then (unless you have pictures of the damage).

Your HOA (like most) is worthless.

Ugh, so sorry...
 

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,184
Date: 3/10/2009 3:08:38 PM
Author: Hudson_Hawk

First--I''m sorry you''re dealing with this.
Second--I''m not a lawyer, but here''s what I''d do:
If you can, start documenting when he''s out and about. Pictures, a journal(list time, date, who he was with, what he was wearing and doing).
File a claim with your insurance and let them go after the guy. If it''s thousands and thousands of dollars then even a deductible is worth it. Besides, you''ll get it back if they get the guy.
If that''s a problem, sue the guy

I don''t think you can bring the flooding from last year into the case other than to show it was an existing condition and he''s liable. There''s no way for you to prove that it affected your basement then (unless you have pictures of the damage).

Ugh, so sorry...
We do have pictures and bills from the year before...but we''re not interested in going after him for those damages.

All I care about is getting my stuff fixed now...just off the top...we lost a pottery barn bedroom set, pottery barn desk and book shelf, two computer monitors, wiring, the actual computer itself, not to mention having a clean up crew out, renting dryers....it was a lot of money setting that place up.

I am happy to pay my deductable...but I don''t want my insurance to go up because of this. And really, should we have to pay when we did nothing wrong? This guy is a total con man. And I am going to keep firm track of him from this point forward! I was actually talking to our neighbors on the other side of him and it turns about about 3 years ago, he had a bunch of mice get loose in his house that ended up making their way into the other house townhouses in our row
.

He disgusts me.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
"This guy is a total con man."

If you''ve got proof of the issue from last year and you end up going to court, then you might as well go for the damages from last year as well. Why not, you''re already going to the trouble. I would then petition the HOA with your other neighbors, to fine him for violating his HOA agreement. In my old condo complex we had clauses written into our agreements that stated we had to have any and every issue like this rectified almost immediately to avoid damage to neighbors and common property.

If you''re not in the wrong, your insurance won''t go up. That''s why it''s important to let your company go after his company (and him) for the money.
 

Steel

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
4,884
Date: 3/10/2009 3:29:07 PM
Author: Hudson_Hawk
''This guy is a total con man.''

If you''ve got proof of the issue from last year and you end up going to court, then you might as well go for the damages from last year as well. Why not, you''re already going to the trouble. I would then petition the HOA with your other neighbors, to fine him for violating his HOA agreement. In my old condo complex we had clauses written into our agreements that stated we had to have any and every issue like this rectified almost immediately to avoid damage to neighbors and common property.

If you''re not in the wrong, your insurance won''t go up. That''s why it''s important to let your company go after his company (and him) for the money.
100% agree HH.

Italia, I am sorry this happened but I would def go after last years expenses. In for a penny and all...
 

basil

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
1,526
Not a lawyer, but I was in a similar situation. In my old condo, the tank on the toilet cracked in a bathroom I never used, and flooded my downstairs neighbor's bathroom, ruining his ceiling and some of his walls. My insurance company paid him for the fixes, and I paid my deductible and got a new toilet.

I don't understand why being bedridden would have anything to do with it. Bedridden is not an excuse for his insurance not paying.

ETA: Have you talked to your insurance company? They may be willing to go after his insurance company in order to avoid paying themselves.
 

Clairitek

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
4,881
What a stinky situation, Italia! I''m sorry to hear about this.

This isn''t exactly the same situation but a tree from my parents neighbor''s property fell onto my parent''s room and did some structural damage. Their insurance paid for the repairs since it was their tree that did the damage. I''m no legal expert but this guy definitely owes you something. He does sound like a total con man.

I think you''re right on to document his activity and take some photos. He really needs to realize he can''t get away with this sort of stuff.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
23,295
His insurance company is responsible for paying for the damage.
Contact a lawyer for advice on suing vs letting your insurance handle it.
 

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
5,184
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful advice!

I went ahead an retained an attorney last night to draft some letter of intent for my HOA and neighbor. I am meeting face to face with my insurance agent this evening to get the ball rolling. Hopefully we''ll all reach a positive outcome here.

Thanks again!!
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
Good luck, let us know how everything goes!
 

NovemberBride

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
962
Good luck Italia! I am a lawyer, but not an insurance lawyer, so I don''t have any great lawyerly advice on the issue. I generally don''t advocate litigation, since I know how long and expensive it can be and that it is just not worth it in most cases. However, I think that you and your DH were extremely generous to cover your losses yourselves the first time and you definititely should be compensated this time. His being bedridden (even if it were not true) is definitely not an excuse. I would bet that his insurance will cover the damages long before you have to litigate. A strongly worded letter from a lawyer can go a long way towards getting cooperation. Perhaps your insurance can work directly with his, or you can work directly with his insurance agent if he is uncooperative. This is not the type of issue that an HOA should be resolving. Please let us know how it turns out.
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    What is White Gold?
    What is White Gold?
    Push Present: Engagement Ring Upgrade
    Push Present: Engagement Ring Upgrade
    20th Anniversary Upgrade
    20th Anniversary Upgrade

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top