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Homeowner still trying to get Buffalo to pay for water meter damage

A water meter leak in the basement occurred in March 2018 and caused thousands in damage
Posted at 6:20 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 17:40:39-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo homeowner Danielle Taylor is at wits end. "As much as I love this city, the city I love is letting me down," said Taylor.

In March 2018, a newly installed water meter in Taylor's Hewitt Avenue home sprung a leak and damaged floorboards, a new mattress, basement paint and insulation, and caused corrosion in the home's electrical wires.

Taylor was not home when the leak happened and found her basement being sprayed with a geyser of water.

Crews from Buffalo Water told Taylor that the meter was not properly installed using plastic pipe. It was repaired with copper lines.

The homeowner filed a claim with the City of Buffalo and went to small claims court in Buffalo City Court seeking $12,000 in damages.

However, 21 months after the leak, Taylor has been unable to get the city to pay for damages despite multiple attempts to contact the city's legal department for updates.

Taylor is now taking legal steps to have her Buffalo City Court lawsuit go before a judge.

Making all of this even worse, Taylor is off work, on medical leave following surgery, and living in a home with major electrical issues that electricians told her were caused by the basement leak.

Some lights and outlets still do not work while others flicker and go out. Fluctuations in power are suspected of causing problems with her stove. A 220 volt power line in the basement for her clothes dryer went dead after being soaked with water.

"I have a brand new dryer that I cannot use. It just sits there for decoration," added Taylor.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly contacted the city to find out the status of Taylor's claim and why it is taking so long for it to be settled. Ch7 is still waiting for a response.

When Ed Reilly first did a story in June 2019 about Taylor's problems, a city spokesperson said the claim was still being processed with no set timetable.

With winter weather on the way, and being laid up after surgery, Danielle Taylor is unsure where to turn for help to get reimbursed for the repairs she paid for out-of-pocket, and those that still need to be done.

"I just want a fully functional house, the way it was before the water meter leak," said Taylor.