North Park residents who sued after 2017 water main break face flooding again

Lawsuits from 2017's North Park water main break
Posted at 5:32 PM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-04 20:52:42-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — North Park homeowner Paula Schnell says, “I could see the water gushing down the street and I thought, ‘Oh, no. Not again.’”

Cell phone video shows Schnell standing ankle-deep in water after Thursday morning's water main break. She says she was having flashbacks to the last major North Park water main break that happened in January of 2017.

The 2017 break caused so much damage to Schnell’s home that she decided to file suit against the city after she says the city low balled her on a payout offer for her claim.

RELATED: Massive water main break floods North Park streets, leaves cars partially submerged

It was just this past Tuesday when she finally reached a resolution with the city, 21 months after the flood.

“I was really frustrated with the city over the whole thing,” Schnell says.

Attorney Rebecca Blain Morrison adds, “It took a long time to get this productive dialogue going with the city where we were able to sit down and talk about the claim in a way where it would settle and that happened two days ago.”

PHOTOS: Water main break in North Park leads to flooding

In addition to Schnell, Blain Morrison also represents two other people who sued after the 2017 flooding fiasco. One of them is Schnell’s neighbor, Christine Haslet. Haslet lost some of what's most important.

“My books, wedding album [and] my kids' baby books. Just all of it,” Haslet explains. During Thursday’s water main break, she put sandbags around her home.

Schnell used a door dam. Both women fear that another water main break is in their future.

“This is a problem with city infrastructure,” explains Blain Morrison.

VIDEO: Flooding, damage caught on camera

She believes the city’s risk management division should do a better job.

Blain Morrison adds, “[They should ask], ‘How are we going to step in and address our citizens and address our taxpayers and make sure their problems and damages are resolved without having to put them through months of claims and even a lawsuit?’”

The City of San Diego tells 10News it's paid out $4.5 million on 75 claims from that 2017 break. That break was in nearly the same spot as Thursday’s break, but the city says they’re separate and unrelated lines.