2 local companies play blame game, homeowner left holding bill for damage

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by Lauren Trager / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 19 at 6:54 PM

(KMOV.com) -- Two companies are pointing their fingers at each other but it’s the little guy footing the bill for $5,000 worth of damage he didn’t cause.

Laclede Gas and a contractor for Missouri American Water did some digging just outside Ron Anderson’s building in Berkley late last summer.

At the time, when the weather was dry, no one thought anything of it. Only after the recent rounds of rain did he realize something was very wrong.

“Every time it rained, which was a lot this spring, backup,” Anderson said.

He learned the sewer line had been severely damaged so that sewage could no longer flow through it properly.

The issue had been covered up and now, neither company is taking responsibility.

“I think it’s completely wrong, how can they say they didn’t do it when they were here do the work,” Anderson said.

He lost hundreds in rent from his tenant and paid a repair company $5,000.

“The people that repaired it said it was Laclede that did it because the line is [close to] the damage,” he added.

But Laclede wrote Anderson a letter suggesting it was the water company’s contractor who did the damage. Over the phone, Laclede told News 4 they were confident they didn’t cause the damage. Neither company would go on camera.

“Just because you are a big company and you’ve got tons of lawyers around you, that’s no reason to not be honest about it,” Anderson said.

In the meantime, he’s on the hook for the bill. His last resort is paying more to fight it out in small claims court. 

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