Putnam Road Homeowner Sues Town

A Putnam Road homeowner has sued the town, saying he’s experienced soil erosion and other problems on his property since municipal officials constructed a drainage system by it.

The town “entered upon” the property at 83 Putnam Road “and altered a stone wall for the purpose of constructing a drainage system to direct surface water from a nearby public road” onto the plaintiff’s property, according to a complaint filed by Fairfield-based attorney Catherine Creager of Coles, Baldwin, Kaiser & Creager LLC.

“The velocity and volume of the flow of water from the drainage system constructed by the defendant has caused, and will continue to cause, the removal of top soil, and further soil erosion on the plaintiff’s property” and also causes “the property to the rear of the dwelling to be wet and diminishes its use for recreation,” the lawsuit said.

The town received the complaint on Tuesday. The plaintiff, Eugene Guarnieri, is seeking an injunction preventing the town from discharging water on his property, as well as attorney’s fees, costs and “such other relief the court deems just and proper.”

The discharged water “is located in close proximity to the septic system and has the potential to overload the drainfield with too much water, which will or may cause sewage water to flow to the surface or create backups to toilets and sinks,” the complaint said.

The town has “failed to use a reasonable alternative” in building the drainage system and “breached its duty” to construct it in a way that would minimally harm the plaintiff’s property, a 1.17-acre parcel near the intersection of Butler Lane.

Under state law, “Persons authorized to construct or to repair highways may make or clear any watercourse or place for draining off the water therefrom into or through any person’s land so far as necessary to drain off such water and, when it is necessary to make any drain upon or through any person’s land for the purpose named in this section, it shall be done in such way as to do the least damage to such land.”

The town violated that provision of state statute, according to the suit, and also is guilty of nuisance, in part because “the discharge of water on the plaintiff’s property has a natural tendency to create danger and inflict damage.” 

Agents of the town also has trespassed, the complaint said,  the “continuous direction of water on the plaintiff’s property.”

The town has not yet answered the suit.

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