UPDATE: City blames old pipes for Janesville woman's flooded basement

By: Madeline Anderson Email
By: Madeline Anderson Email

UPDATED: Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 --- 9:20 p.m.

Janesville city manager Jay Winzenz says the city denied Loyce Davis' claim because there was no negligence on its part.

He says although changing her water meter may have directly caused the pipe to break, an investigation found Davis' water pipe was old and deteriorating and that it was only a matter of time before it broke.

Published: Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 --- 10:45 p.m.

A Janesville woman says the city is cheating her out of nearly $2,000 after her basement flooded.

Loyce Davis has lived in her home for 16 years. She says not once has it flooded. But shortly after the city changed her water meter this summer, she found two feet of standing water downstairs. Now she wants the city to take responsibility.

"It makes me feel bad because I've lived in this town for a long time," she said. "Over 30-some odd years. And I pay my taxes each year. And I should not be screwed over because they put in a meter that flooded my basement."

Davis and her husband filed a claim with the city, asking to be reimbursed $1,900 for the water damage and the plumber's fee.

"I had to have a plumber come out and fix the pipe and the city had to come out and replace the meter because the meter was no good," she said. "I had my kids' wrestling stuff from 1999. It was stuff that was packed away for all those years that I can't replace."

But instead of money, Davis received a letter in the mail from the city. It reads: "Dear Mr. Davis: Your described claim has been investigated and reviewed and it has been determined that based upon the particular facts and circumstances, the City of Janesville was not negligent and is not liable to you for the damages you claim. Therefore, please be advised that your claim is denied and disallowed."

"They said that was not their responsibility. But they brought a pump out to pump my basement out. If there was no responsibility, then why'd they bring a pump out?" Davis said.

She's now asked a council member to look into why her claim was denied because she says no one from the city ever came back out to interview her or her plumber during its investigation.

"He told me that they don't always really investigate it," Davis said. "You know, what they call investigating. He said he'd check into it for me and then get back to me. So far I haven't heard anything."

NBC 15 called each council member to try to get some answers. One said he wasn't even aware of Davis' claim. Another said the city had already thoroughly explained to Davis why her claim was denied. A third said he agreed with Davis fighting the city's decision, but was advised not to comment further. NBC 15 also reached out to the city manager and is waiting to hear back from him.

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