How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I am suing my water company damage to my property

This answer was rated:

i am suing my water company for subsidence damage to my property due to their leaking sewer which has now been relined. in their defence they have stated 'the defendant does not owe a duty to the claimant, or anyone else, to inspect its sewers to check connections and or/blockages. to do so would require the defendant to make a policy decision to divert substantial resources to this kind of exercise. this allegation is not justiceable'
is their argument correct?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
How much are you claiming please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

12k subsidence, 4k internal flooding damage to furniture and 2 k other remedial works to drains

Do you have a surveyors report confirming this as well?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

a surveyor has confirmed the subsidence

Did the surveyor say they were negligent ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

he has indicated that there is evidence that their sewer has been leaking over a long period of time and that has caused the fines to wash away and that has lead to the subsidence

Did the water company know about It?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

we were having problems with the drains and as a result i dug up the garden. it was then we found large voids in the soil and around the sewer pipe. the water company inspected the damage and confirmed the sewer was broken. however they are now denying any liability whatsoever!

Ok. But did they know that it was broken beforehand?
What is the basis for them being negligent? Is it on your land or councils where it has broken?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi, i do not know with respect to the sewer in my garden. they did however reline the whole sewer in 2011. the sewer was broken in my garden

So the broken part was that in your garden or the highway?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

the sewer in the garden is the main sewer serving all of the houses in the terrace

Yes but the part that is broken, is that that on your land?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes, the main sewer runs across my garden

Ok. You sued for negligence. What are you saying they did that they did not do?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

they failed to maintain their sewer and as a result of the breakages i have suffered subsidence to paths, walls and my garage floor/slab due to their leaking sewer

Yes. The difficulty is this you need to prove they are negligent and have a duty to inspect their system. If you can't establish this then any claim will fail. I don't ever recall there being a legal requirement that they are required to inspect. If there is then your claim will succeed, If not it will not succeed.
You should think whether you want to claim for the whole lot of £10,000 to keep it a small claim. If it's a small claim and you lose then you don't pay fees of the other side.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

if i suddenly amend my claim to under 10k can that be objected too?

No. You can go down but not up!
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

what about their costs to date?

If its a small claim then it makes no difference, they are not entitled to costs.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes but if the claim started above 10k what happens now if i amend to bring it under 10k?

If now you amend it will be a small claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

does it matter what stage the claim has gone so far. i.e the fact that the defendant has served their defence etc

No. You can amend your claim and value it lower.
I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i am looking to amend my claim to bring it under 10k. the problem i have is that i had itemised various aspects of my claim i.e. a quote for the main repairs, figure for additional works, surveyors fees etc etc. the total of those came to well over 10k. what is the best way to amend my claim?

You just need to inform the other side your claim is now £10,000 to keep it as a small claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

do i need to amend the claim i.e. change the figures etc

Only when you get the directions questionnaire. Say you are lowering the value.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

we have got as far as directions which have been filed at the court

Ok. If it has not been allocated yet you are ok. Make a formal application to court to amend your claim and lower to £10k
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi do i need to give any explanation or do i just reduce the final sum claimed. as i asked above what do i do if the original quotes for the works add up to more than 10k? any amendments do they have to be struck through in red and any new figures in red?


No you can just reduce it. Yes strike through figures you are not claiming for in red and any new ones in red.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi on what form do i make the application and when i do do i just state i' i wish to amend my particulars of claim as attached'?

Yes and say why,.