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Dolores Ottesen sues Bethlehem over sewage backup that damaged her home

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Dec 28 2012 05:27:10 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 29 2012 07:17:26 AM CST
EASTON, Pa. -

A woman is suing the city of Bethlehem over a sewage backup that caused more than $25,000 in damage to her home in Hanover Twp., Northampton Co., almost five months ago.

Dolores L. Ottesen, of 1136 Stafore Drive, filed a civil Friday in Northampton County Court.

Ottesen said in her suit that on Aug. 9, the main sewage line near her home became blocked because of an accumulation of tree limbs and as a result, raw sewage entered her home through a toilet and shower in her bathroom.

To clean and repair her basement, Ottesen paid $6,137.45 to Service Master Clean. Springtown, Bucks Co., and $18,563.37 to Biron Development Corp., Hanover Twp., Northampton Co., according to the suit.

Ottesen also said in her suit that she lost at least $1,000 in personal property, including a sofa, love seat and a Persian area rug.

According to the suit, the city was negligent for not anticipating that the roots would grow into and block the sewage line and for not doing regular maintenance, adding that the last time the line was inspected before Aug. 9 was in June or July of 2009.

Ottesen is asking in her suit for $25,700.82 in damages, as well as court costs.