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Athens resident sues city, says sewage flooded her basement

The City of Athens is facing a negligence lawsuit from a resident who says the city failed to inspect and maintain a sewer line that backed up and flooded her basement.

Between September and November, a clog in a city sewer line backed up into Irene Gevas’ finished basement at 37 Graham Drive, according to a complaint filed in the Athens County Court of Common Pleas on May 1. According to the complaint, sewage covered the floor of the basement and was 18 inches deep in one place.

Gevas described significant damage to her home in the complaint. The sewage reportedly caused condensation on windows and doors on the main floor of the building, eventually leading to mold. Gevas also said the basement had to be “gutted back to the concrete block walls, including even the ceiling tile” due to the sewage.

The furnace, water heater, oven, refrigerator, washer and dryer in the home were reportedly damaged, as well as the window coverings, furniture, carpet and cabinets.

Records the city released show that the city did not regularly inspect or maintain the sewage line and only maintained it when residents reported problems, according to the complaint. Gevas and her attorney argued negligence by the city caused the blockage and amounted to a breach of the city’s duties to its citizens.

In her complaint, Gevas requested a jury trial to determine how much compensation she is entitled to for the damage to her home.


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