Family, city spar over compensation for sewage accident - FOX 13 News

Family, city spar over compensation for sewage accident

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A Tampa woman is demanding that the city pay up for a sewage spill in her home. Parsons Dahl says it started last Tuesday with loud noises coming from the toilet.

"The toilet was literally exploding," said Dahl. "Up and out over six feet high, all the way to the back of my shower and throughout my bathroom."

Dahl, five months pregnant, became covered in raw sewage.

"Toilet paper, sewage, tons of sewage water. It had literally puddled," she said.

And that was just one bathroom. It also happened in another bathroom. The Tampa Water Department was doing maintenance on sewage lines, but Dahl says city workers failed to open her home's cleanout pipe out front and she says they weren't very concerned when she came out of the house soaking wet.

"He says 'oh well, it's just the dirty south, dirty South Tampa," recounted Dahl.

But she says a supervisor did come out to her house right away.

"The people from Waste Water and Waste Water Management were extremely apologetic," said Dahl.

The city paid for a cleaning company, but Dahl says the bathroom was still dirty after they were done. So, the city paid for a second cleaning company the next day and two nights in a hotel.

But there's more.

At the city's request, Dahl submitted a list of items she had to throw out and how much they cost. She wants $2,600 to replace everything. Her list includes $450 teeth bleaching trays, $240 for a pair of Sonicare toothbrushes, and six bathing suits Dahl says cost a total of $336.

The City, however, sent the Dahls a letter "declining liability" and offering a "good will gesture" settlement of $1,500.

"My husband keeps saying to the guy in the claims department, 'but my pregnant wife was covered in sewage for hours.' They don't care," Dahl said.

Dahl said she had to have an emergency ultrasound and her doctors told her to look out for infection. The baby is fine, but after such an ordeal, Dahl wants exactly what she asked for.

The city says based on case law, it's not liable for any of the damages and that their offer is final.

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