Wednesday 25 April 2018

Neighbour settles case after sewage damages home

Brian and Cheryl Buckley outside the High Court
Brian and Cheryl Buckley outside the High Court

Tim Healy

A LEGAL action by a family who claimed their new home was flooded with sewage after their neighbour blocked a waste water pipe has been settled.

Brian and Cheryl Buckley claimed serious damage was caused to their home at Auburn Drive, Killiney, Co Dublin, after their late former neighbour Charles Cronin blocked a sewer which ran through his property and connected the Buckleys' home to the main public sewerage system.

Arising out of the incident, the Buckleys sued Mr Cronin for damages.

Mr Cronin, who the court heard suffered from a mental health condition, died in August 2012 and the High Court action was continued against his estate.

The claims were denied.

In a defence and counterclaim lodged on Mr Cronin's behalf, it was claimed the wastewater drains from the Buckleys' property amounted to a trespass on Mr Cronin's then property.

The drain was unlawfully constructed on Mr Cronin's property without his knowledge, it was also claimed.

Following talks between the parties yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Charleton was informed the case had been settled. No details of the settlement were revealed in open court.

Counsel for the Buckleys, Michael Conlon, said the family first noticed problems with water backing up in April 2011. He said the problems were caused by Mr Cronin, who blocked the pipe using stones.

The Buckleys sought permission to enter Mr Cronin's land to unblock the drain. However, he refused to let a workers hired by the Buckleys enter his then property.

Concerned about the health implications and wanting to have the matter sorted out, the Buckleys contacted the HSE and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council.

However, this did not resolve matters.

Mr Conlon said the Buckleys' bathroom, back bedroom, upstairs hallway, sitting room, kitchen, drawing room and entrance hall were flooded.

Sewage came across the downstairs ceiling and down the walls. Their carpets, couch and television were soaked. Their kitchen cabinets were flooded.

Mr Conlon said the Buckleys obtained High Court injunctions against Mr Cronin allowing them to unblock the drains.

Mr Cronin sold his property in late 2011, and there were no difficulties with the new owners since, the court heard.

Irish Independent

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