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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Warning: Document Everything

On 3/26/08 city workers screwed up and I had toilet water spraying all over my bathroom. It took me two weeks to get my 4 yr old daughter to voluntarily use the bathroom again. They were vacuuming the sewer lines when they used too much pressure which forced air through my sewer line and out my bathroom toilet. Water sprayed in every direction. I was told to file my claim through the city and I did as I was told. I also replaced the items that were covered in toilet water. It took me all evening to clean it up because I was caring for a 4 yr old and a newborn, but I only charged them for 2 hrs. Which involved throwing away everything, taking notes of what was covered, and sanitizing the bathroom for my family. The total replacements were around $200. Hair brushes, tooth brushes, and all other items add up. I thought I had done everything right.

Today 4/24/08 I got a response to my claim. To my disappointment it was an offer of $35. Which basically covered labor and tooth brushes. Some of the items they says were not documents by their videos. I didn't know I should have had the guy taking the pictures move items around so he got it all, but maybe he didn't want to touch my pee water saturated items. I know I didn't. So because the city is cheap and didn't take proper pictures and because I didn't force them to I am screwed out of the money that I spent to replace the items. I should have charged them for the distress that it caused my four year old. As well as the distress it caused me when I was home alone with a crying four year old and infant while my toilet was spraying all over the place.


JosephMcG said...

I am so sorry you got caught in the institutional maze... thanks for sharing


EmeraldPrincessOnline said...

I would think there would be an appeal process. Read over the paperwork carefully and look for that. It should be outlined in there somewhere. It is worth pursuing.

Donna said...

I was told to contact them to accept the $35 settlement. I contacted them and about everyother sentence had "pee water" in it. I will not except the settlement and I made that clear.

Patty Cake said...


I would encourage you to call the Mayor of Tacoma and City Manager Eric Anderson and ask to meet with them and tell them your story. Mention: "I seem to be confused . . . "

Let me know how your meeting turns out!

Donna said...

Thank you for your suggestion Patty. Alot of the council members know me by name and so it wasn't hard to have them look into the issue. Currently the managers office is handling my claim problems.

Stephanie Frieze said...

Governmental agencies that screw up are difficult to deal with. Don't back down, Donna.

When I lived in Kirkland our neighbors and friends had their house raided by King County police, with the Kirkland Police doing crowd control. The neighborhood (including a single mother with three tiny children--moi)was evacuated in the middle of the night as the family was terrorized (they had a young daughter and dad had a bad heart)and the house trashed looking for a supposed stash of weapons they'd received a tip on from a drug dealing stoolie looking for a reduced sentence.

When the house had been reduced to a shambles all they came up with were three antique rifles that didn't work. It took years for the family to settle with the county and city. In that case they had to first get the permission of the government to sue the government.

But eventually they were able to. The government counts on citizens becoming tired of fighting and just giving up.