WAPAKONETA – Minster’s motion to be dismissed from a lawsuit has been denied in the Auglaize County Court of Common Pleas Wednesday. Kidge Frderick Pepple cited changes in construction plans may have negated the village’s immunity. The plaintiffs have maintained actions by the village resulted in negligence that damaged their homes.
The village of Minster and contractor Helms and Sons Excavating and Construction are defendants in a lawsuit over a May 17, 2019, flooding incident in a sewer replacement project that sent up to 2 feet of storm water and sewage into nine homes in the project on Second Street.
On May 15, the village filed a motion to be removed from the lawsuit, citing Oho Revised Code 2744 which holds municipalities harmless as they conduct their activities.
The ruling by Pepple denied the village’s motion to dismiss on a negligence claim, saying that the plaintiffs have alleged enough in the lawsuit to show that the village is not immune.
The defendant’s lawyers, Green and Green of Dayton, will have 30 days to respond to the denial. However, the lawyers will continue to gathering testimony from witnesses in preparation for a requested jury trial.
Neither the village nor the contractor have admitted fault in the flooding and on April 15, 2020, nine residents with damaged homes filed a lawsuit to recoup payment for damages. The initial amount of the lawsuit is $25,000.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.