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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 27384
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I had basement Flood damage here last year £24,000 estimated

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I had basement Flood damage here last year £24,000 estimated to repair Thames Water had tree roots growing through sewage system & other sewer abuse items found in their pipe but prior to that this
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Woodley RG 4RL
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Yes I filled in a CC suing them as I dint realise my home insurance ran out but they obviously contesting it
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The blockages weren't on my property & the lateral pipes run to a School drain that had been covered over & hidden underneath a playground

Hello. My name is***** you for the question.

It is my pleasure to assist you today.

I have been in the legal profession, in High Street practice, for almost 30 years so I have wide range of experience in a great many different aspects of law.

Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you.

Although I am shown as online, I may be dealing with other people, on the telephone, or typing.

Please be assured that you will receive an email once I have written a reply.

Just Answer is not a chat service, it’s an email reply board and therefore sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes it may be longer, even hours or overnight.

I apologise in advance if you suffer a delay.

Kind regards.

Who paid for the £24k damage?

and now the water company is contesting what exactly?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
That is an estimate from renowned basement repairs Company I filled in a CC order to Thames Water to claim the damages because the problems lays in their sewage system causing me extremely slow drainage & flooding to my drains where the basement pumps pump to being the lowest point it couldn't clear the water this happened twice last year Thames Water say they aren't responsible for Tree roots growing through their pipes & sewer abuse of other items found so they contest the case and I wonder what the actual law is around Lateral Drains & sewage maintenance then
My drain at the boundary leads to the Willow-bank School grounds where they had blockage & that goes to Sewage system where they found other stuff
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Sorry I have a hearing problem would prefer a typed response am happy to pay £44 & get the legal obligations sorted of responsibility
I did get a Survey report that refers to 1991 Water Authorities Law updated maybe 2011 but didn't understand it and Thames Water solicitors are asking me all sorts of legal questions

You have probably seen a pop-up offering you the chance of a telephone call at an extra cost.

It is up to you whether you have a telephone call or not but do bear in mind that a 15-30 minute telephone call covers an awful lot of ground and you can get an awful lot of information in that time.

So you can ignore it or go ahead or go ahead later.

It’s your choice.

Meanwhile, we can carry on on here.

Your potential claim is in negligence:

It will help if I explain how claims in negligence arise.

There needs to be

1. a duty of care

2. the duty of care needs to be breached

3. as a result of the breach there needs to be loss or injury

4. the loss or injury resulting from the breach must be reasonably foreseeable.

In order for there to be a claim in negligence, all 4 heads have to be satisfied.

Although a party may be able to opt out of negligence claims in respect of damage to property by having a contract or disclaimer, it is not possible to opt out of personal injury or death as a result of negligence.

The relevant statute is the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (UCTA).

However even a disclaimer in respect of negligence claims with regard to damage to property will only be applicable if it passes the UCTA test of “reasonableness”. You would need to Google the Act to get all the details of that but basically a person can’t exclude liability for claims in negligence in respect of damage to property to basically do what they like, and drive a coach and horses through all their obligations.

It is point number four that they would probably escape liability because it’s not reasonably foreseeable that tree roots would damage the drains UNLESS there are obviously trees around in which case it becomes more complicated because it would be necessary to bring the owner of the trees in a second defendant.

Hello again. If you don’t have any further questions, I will mark this question thread as complete for now, but don’t worry, the thread stays open if anything else crops up over the course of the next days weeks or months. I’m glad that I was able to help. Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem. Kind regards Stuart

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Am happy to pay you its just I have a hearing problem
The case in question is being fought rigorously on every technical point that Thames Water solicitors can find
IE I had to pay £208 to change the name of the Defendant to Thames Water Utilities Ltd as I had them as Thames Water customer Ltd
Then they ague about technical issues galore & latest being my witness I had down to attendThe witness has also compiled an expert Surveyor report outlining Cause & effect (which is very damaging to them) but they want the report thrown out because he is already a lay witness & say I cant use it
What is the best way to proceed with using him / the reportThey also say they haven't heard of the 1991 Water Company Act or the 1st Oct 2011 regulation update & questioning me about it?
Its 645 pages long how obliged am I to answer their questions I much rather have the expert at Court

You have probably seen a pop-up offering you the chance of a telephone call at an extra cost.

It is up to you whether you have a telephone call or not but do bear in mind that a 15-30 minute telephone call covers an awful lot of ground and you can get an awful lot of information in that time.

So you can ignore it or go ahead or go ahead later.

It’s your choice.

Meanwhile, we can carry on on here.

If you want your expert in court, and the report admitted and they don’t want, then they don’t have to make an application to have it thrown out and they are going to have to justify that.

To my mind they only want it thrown out for one reason and that is that it’s not helpful to them.

I haven’t heard of the Water Company Act 1991 either. Nor has Google.

The Water Industry Act 1991 sets out the powers and duties of water and sewerage companies and replaces the Water Act 1989.

Be careful not to answer any reasonable questions because that might be seen as you were being unreasonable

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
can I use the expert as well as a lay witness or do I need to drop the lay witness & just have him as expert
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Do i need to make special application to the court for using him as Expert or can he give that evidence as a lay witness

You would normally put what witnesses you want in the directions questionnaire. Whether he is lay or expert really depends on his qualifications

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