Consumer Watch: Man claims MSD not owning up to fixing damaged basement


Posted on June 10, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 1:28 PM

(WHAS11) - This Consumer Watch stems from a disgusting mess that bubbled up through the sewer into the basement of a family in the Camp Taylor neighborhood. The Metropolitan Sewer District admits that the mess was their responsibility, but the homeowner says MSD is offering an unfair settlement to re-finish the basement.

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In January, the then finished and carpeted basement of Harold Baker was flooded with sewage. The Metropolitan Sewer District immediately accepted responsibility, cleared the line and sent a company to clean the basement and clear contamination. They then told Baker to get an estimate to refinish.

Baker got a bid from Doiron Professional Remodeling for around $20,000. It was similar to the estimate MSD got from Paul Davis Remodeling for $16,000. The only difference was that the Doiron bid included a new furnace.

But MSD accepted a third bid. After depreciation, Baker was offered $8,243.53.

"It would be a hack job at that point. It would be just trying to put a patch on something that needs to be re-done," says Baker.

Imperial Insurance Restoration is the same company that did the clean-up and decontamination.

WHAS11 took Baker's concerns to MSD's Executive Director Bud Schardein.

"I'm not trying to hurt Mr. Baker. I'm just trying to be responsible with the money we have," says Schardein.

Schardein says there is no conflict of interest because Imperial is licensed to do both jobs and depreciation is a reality unless the basement is brand new. But he also says Baker may have a case for a bigger settlement.

Donna Doiron says there were things left off of Imperial's bid like the framework, the slumping ceiling, drywall, electric, and carpet on the steps.

"You can't do a basement where there are structural changes like this including electrical issues and expect to do 80 percent of the work what they consider value. I don't think an inspector would understand that terminology," says Doiron.

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