Family allowed to pursue flooding case against Oakland County municipalities arising out of catch basins and storm sewer, including personal injury claims.
Richard Mielcarek and Julie Byrd sued after their basement suffered severe flooding in 2011 and again in 2013. They argued that several municipal entities were responsible for the flooding because they did not adequately removed debris from storm sewer catch basins. The involved entities sought summary disposition, arguing that the plaintiff's claims did not fall within either the highway or the sewage disposal system statutory exception from governmental immunity. The defendants also argued that failing to remove debris did not meet the statutory definition of a "defect" and that the family's causation proofs were insufficient.
The high court affirmed the trial judge's rejection of the defendants' summary disposition arguments. It also rejected their claim that the Plaintiffs could not prove personal injuries resulting from mold toxicity caused by the periodic flooding.