The Reason is Legal Bills

The reason for the increasing costs, happening from Grosse Pointe Farms to Hamtramck, vary. Some are related to cases involving property owners challenging tax assessments; others are from residents suing cities for basement flooding.

A lawsuit was filed Dec. 7 in Wayne County Circuit Court, for example, against Dearborn Heights in which class action status was requested. In that lawsuit, Ali and Rola Abdallah allege that the city’s negligence in maintaining and operating its sewer system was to blame for a May 25 backup that filled their home with feces.

The city is fighting the lawsuit and the cost is climbing. Legal bills so far this fiscal year, which ends June 30, are a little more than $700,000, and are expected to surpass last year’s legal bills of $771,700. Two years ago, the city paid $600,000 in legal bills, according to the mayor’s office.

Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko said if the Abdallahs’ lawsuit is successful, city officials would place the judgment on residents’ water bills, or property owners would have to pay a special millage.

“When you sue the city, you’re really suing yourself,” Paletko said.

But Steven Liddle, of Detroit law firm Macuga, Liddle & Dubin, which represents plaintiffs in the lawsuits against Dearborn Heights, said legal bills might go up but suing cities often forces them to correct the problem. “Why do some cities flood repeatedly?” he asked.

Read the Rest at The Free Press

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7 thoughts on “The Reason is Legal Bills”

  1. Big Joke we are suing ourselves. Why don’t you just budget the money to keep the sewers clear. The mayor’s stance on this is just unbelievable

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  2. Dora

    At the March 27 ccm the DPW Department put in and got approved for 3 new trucks and guess what that is coming out of the water fund. Will our water rates go up now to pay for that? What about the loan the city took from the water department and hasn’t paid back yet will our water rates go up to pay for that? Water rates go up all the time every time Wayne County raises the rates ours go up.
    There is a segment of the population in this city and nation wide that is fair game to say what ever you want to about. That’s a sign of the times, I guess I just thought Dearborn Heights was going to be different. Now here’s a question for the administration if the water rates go up for any reason and if this couple or for that matter any one with the same last name starts to get harassed or threatened. Are they going to bring another lawsuit against the city for what the mayor said in that article.

    Mr. Mayor you have over 50,000 residents of those approximately 7,000 are seniors while they may be the largest block of voters in the city they aren’t the only voters. While they pay their taxes so do the rest of us. I think the fact that there’s still a recreation department at all left in the city is something that everyone should be happy about. You would never know it from the way some are talking. While many city’s around us are closing their recreation departments the seniors of the city are upset because they might take a bus to the Berwyn center to go to their meetings/clubs. The seniors are a group of people that I have always looked up to and respected so much. You are our knowledge bass you are who we look to for rational and reasonable solutions. I would think you with all of your knowledge would look at the glass as half full not half empty.

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  3. Most people probably don’t know they can get backup insurance.

    When my insurance payment was part of my mortgage payment I never looked to see what coverage I had. I just assumed it was what the mortgage company required.

    After I started paying for the insurance separately, I took a closer look, added a few things and raised my deductible.

    This year I’m looking at adding flood insurance since the weather just keeps getting weirder.

    If the City offered people a break on their water bill for having the right coverage, it would probably save the city a bundle.

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  4. Okay. I have a good idea. Let’s make a list of all the lawsuits that our tax money has gone for. Let’s just see how much the mayor is responsible for.
    On another note, I have never seen anyone “called out” because they were suing the city the way the above mentioned people were, and by the mayor. I can’t believe he did that. I am wondering if there are any specific groups of citizens that are tired of the biased opinions of the administration.
    Hey, he wants the vote of the seniors so bad he can’t bring himself to speak truth in front of them. He should be thinking about the vote from other specific groups. Can’t believe you did that, Mayor.
    What is right is just that, RIGHT. If someone has been wronged, they have every right as any other citizen, to get an attorney and sue.
    I would love to see a list of lawsuits that have been filed against the city, and the mayor/administration, just to see how much they should kick in! Attorney fees, yep, big expense for the citizens to pay.
    And you dare to threaten to put the judgements on OUR water bills or YOU properties? I want to see the list! I want to know how to split the bill!

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  5. It’s about $10 per month based on my homeowners policy. Homeowners need to be responsible and proactive in protecting their property.

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  6. It would be FAR less expensive for the City to add (and pay for) “backup insurance” on every citizen’s homeowner’s insurance policy. I don’t have a policy to look at right now, but I know it doesn’t cost very much.

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