CLINTON — A water fight between a homeowner and Clinton city is heading back to court — this time to the Utah Court of Appeals.
The appellate court in Salt Lake City has agreed to hear oral arguments in the case of Fernando Orosco versus Clinton at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 29.
There, Orosco’s attorney will appeal an earlier claim that was dismissed in 2011 by the 2nd District Court in Farmington.
Orosco contends he has had periodic flooding in his basement, and based on lab testing, the water is culinary water, which he suspects came from a Clinton city water leak.
He said the flood waters damaged the basement of his home at 1242 N. 900 West.
“Orosco had water intermittently and consistently entering his basement,” said Zane F. Froerer, the Ogden attorney representing the Clinton homeowner.
Froerer said his client narrowed the possibilities of where the water was coming from, and made a request to the city for assistance.
The city did a few things, he said, but then swept the issue “under the rug.”
“His (Orosco’s) biggest concern is that (the basement) was flooding every year, with no end in site,” Froerer said.
And although he is not certain, Froerer said, a malfunctioning water release valve the city recently repaired near Orosco’s home may have been the “culprit” behind the flooding.
Froerer said his position is that there is a “continuing invasion” of water going into Orosco’s basement. And, he said, the city’s position appears to be that Orosco missed his chance to file a claim against it.
After the city spent a lot of time and money trying to identify a source of the flooding, officials claim the floodwater in Orosco’s basement isn’t city water, but likely stems from a high water table in the area.
The fight between the two parties — ongoing since 2004 — found new energy on Feb. 28, when Orosco appeared before the Clinton City Council and requested that city leaders solve the problem to save water and prevent any future damage to his home.
Complicating this particular issue, however, is that, in 2009, Orosco filed suit against the city in 2nd District Court in Farmington for the flooding that affected his home.
That suit was dismissed in 2011 by a judge, because it had not been filed within a year of the initial damages being claimed.
Orosco in his appeal is asking for an unspecified amount of damages, court costs, legal fees and personal “anguish.”
He is requesting that the city fix the leak, repair his damages and make certain the foundation of his house, which he built in 1996, remains sound.
“We have done everything we can to identify that it is not a city culinary water leak causing his problem,” Clinton Mayor Mitch Adams said in an earlier story.
The city has turned the matter over to its legal counsel, City Manager Dennis Cluff said.
Outside of confirming that Orosco has been before the city council on the issue, Cluff said, he cannot comment on the claims as the case has yet to conclude.