Fed up with what many say is a longstanding problem with flooding in Lindenwood, city residents devastated by an April 30 storm are preparing to sue the city, according to attorney Bruce Baron.
“Many homeowners and individuals from the affected area have contacted our office in an effort to sue the city of New York for their negligence in handling the various wastewater treatment plants,” Baron said.
“This lawsuit is very special to me – not only because of my history of representing clients to their fullest, but because I grew up in Lindenwood,” he continued. “I hate nothing more than to see my memories of a great community shattered by negligence and stupidity.”
The city Department of Environmental Protection on Friday said the widespread flooding, which many said caused more serious damage than they sustained during Hurricane Sandy, was caused by a malfunctioning sewer facility. The DEP said it “determined that its Spring Creek Combined Sewer Overflow Retention Facility on Flatlands Avenue did not function as intended” during the April 30 storm that dumped more than five inches of rain on much of South Queens.
The city DEP did not respond to a comment about the possible lawsuit, which Baron said he expects will soon be filed.
One of the residents who has retained Baron as his attorney is James Noto, who was raised in Lindenwood and still resides in the tight-knit community. For decades, Noto said he has faced flooding issues – and the April 30 storm caused him more than $100,000 in damages.
“We can’t respond quick enough to these sewer problems,” Noto said. “…I’m paranoid every time it rains.”
Baron too stressed the history of flooding in the area.
“Residents long before April 30, 2014 were crying, yelling, and demanding that the situation be rectified,” Baron said. “This is very simply a situation where the high level individuals running this division of the city just dropped the ball, and hardworking, proud people are having to deal with their city letting them down.”
“We’re going to get our clients their day in court, uncovering each and every ball that was dropped by the city and how much time they had long before this incident occurred to fix everything,” Baron continued.
By Anna Gustafson