Lawsuit Seeks $50 Million For 2007 Flooding

West Nyack and River Vale, NJ residents and business owners suing United Water in connection with 2007 flooding saw their case go to court on Friday.


Five and a half years after they were flooded, the lawsuit of more than 50 residents and business owners from West Nyack and River Vale, NJ against United Water New York and United Water New Jersey went to court on Friday.  53 complainants are suing United Water for more than $50 million for flooding on April 15 and 16, 2007. 

The case, Raymond W. Stormes, v. United Water New York, Inc. began with opening arguments in Rockland County Supreme Court in New City.

According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Kevin Mulhearn of Orangeburg, testimony from witnesses and experts including hydrologists is scheduled to begin Monday morning.  The plaintiffs claim negligent and/or reckless maintenance of the water companies’ reservoir systems after water was released from the Lake DeForest Dam and Reservoir and Lake Tappan Dam and Reservoir during a severe rainstorm.  

mike sullivan September 30, 2012 at 11:09 AM
this will raise our rates,not the desalination plant
just another voice September 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM
I am sorry for these folks who chose to live in the shadow of major water reservoirs, however not happy to see the results of higher rates for consumers as the result of any judgement!
Andrew Wiley October 01, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Maybe the potential litigation damages will encourage the Water Company to minimize the chance of homes property being flooded again in the future.
Issy October 01, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Are you saying that they were not already? United Water's main concern must be the safety of the dam in order to prevent a breach, which would be catastrophic, West Nyack is built on a flood plan and dam or no dam it is going to flood during storms and there is little UW can do about it.
Andrew Wiley October 01, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Not releasing water days ahead of time of a forecasted storm contributed to the amount of damage and to the duration of flooding in the area. The court will decide whether or not damages are warranted. Rate payers are the ones who will pay and we can certainly understand the plight of homeowners who had to rebuild after the storm. The local government gave approvals for the dam as well as the houses that were built in West Nyack. You can see that this litigation may be one of the reasons why Clarkstown has made it priority to fix drainage conditions in different parts of Clarkstown.
Issy October 01, 2012 at 02:25 PM
United Water does not have the power to release water from Lake Deforest, the NY DEC does. And any release would have no affect on flooding because the Dam is not a flood control dam. You would have to release water weeks (not days) in advance in order to have any significant affect on flooding. And you have hit on the real issue, why did Clarkstown give permission to build house and the Palisades Mall on a flood plain in the first place?


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