A group of city residents is calling for a full investigation into how sewage systems and stormwater drainage systems were breached in their area.
The residents say they’re frustrated by a lack of communication from the city and lack of action by city officials, as well as a lack to hold the water company responsible for what happened.
On Thursday, residents filed a lawsuit against Clearwater’s city council and the city’s sewer department.
They’re asking for a public hearing to address the breach, and for a report from city officials.
The lawsuit says the breach occurred in the fall of 2016 and affected nearly 1,200 people.
“It was the worst water system breach we’ve seen in Clearwater,” said James Luevano, a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Luevani says he was among the first to be affected by the breach.
In December 2016, the City of Clearwaters contracted with private company Sewage to clean up a sewer pipe that ran into the river.
A few months later, Lueviano was on a trip to Clearwater with his mother.
He says his mother had a stroke, but was not injured.
That’s when he says his wife noticed a change in his son’s breathing.
He says his son was coughing a lot.
He also had a fever, and that changed his heart rate, and he started to feel sick.
At the time, Luesvano says he thought it was a mild case of flu, but later tested negative.
Luesvani and his wife moved to Clearwaters.
His son died in May 2017.
As for the city, Luedvano claims he’s not satisfied with the city response.
“[I] am angry with the lack of accountability,” he said.
But the lawsuit also raises questions about whether Clearwater has any legal standing to sue the city.
When the city first filed its lawsuit against Sewage in December 2016 the city did not specify what actions the city would take, and what damages the city might seek.
After the city filed suit, a hearing was held in January.
Instead of being presented with the case’s details, Luyviano and his neighbors were asked to sign an agreement that would keep the city in the loop.
During the hearing, city officials say they did not want to reveal details of the case, or that it involved the sewer pipes or other sewage systems.
They say the city has provided the lawsuit and documents in the interest of transparency.
Lueviani and the others say they were given little notice about the lawsuit, which was not presented to the public.
According to the lawsuit: The city received a complaint from Luevas on June 22, 2017, and asked for the details of that complaint to be made public.
On July 5, 2017 the city was served with a subpoena, which asked for a copy of the complaint, information about the breach and any documents that might help explain the breach to the plaintiffs.
The city complied with the subpoena, but after an inspection of the breach on July 9, 2017 and a briefing with City Attorney David Smith, the city declined to provide any additional information about what had happened.
In October 2017, Luviano filed a complaint with the California State Supreme Court, alleging negligence, breach of contract, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The complaint claims the city owes Lueva $50,000.
Luviani said the city failed to provide him with adequate information, including documents related to the breach or the breach’s timeline.
“I’m just so disappointed that we didn’t get some information,” Luevis said.
“I didn’t know about it for years.
Now I’m wondering, where was the information?
I just don’t want my life to be ruined.
The lawsuit is a win for Luevan’s neighbors, but it’s not a win against the city as it’s filed in a different court.
The suit seeks to force the city to make the breach public, and to force city officials to release the city council’s records.
It’s also asking for an investigation into the breach by the city inspectors.
Luervani said he hopes the city will finally be held accountable for the breach.”
If they do not do the right thing, I will continue to seek justice for my son,” he added.