Suffern homeowners say Veolia won't cover property damage from water main break last month

The water main break on Campbell Avenue in Suffern occurred on the morning of Feb. 6. It happened right outside of Mary Brockway's home and Konnie Gardner lives behind her on Haskell Avenue.

Diane Caruso and Lee Danuff

Mar 9, 2023, 10:58 PM

Updated 444 days ago

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Two homeowners in Rockland County say property damage from a water main break last month won’t be covered by Veolia.
The water main break on Campbell Avenue in Suffern occurred on the morning of Feb. 6. It happened right outside of Mary Brockway's home and Konnie Gardner lives behind her on Haskell Avenue. 
Both got a denial letter this week from Sedgwick, which handles claims on behalf of the utility company.
The letter states Veolia is only responsible to make payments where there is negligence or wrongdoing. It says their claims were declined because the main break was sudden and unexpected and that Veolia's response was prompt and appropriate. 
Eugene Gardner showed News 12 the damage to their backyard and driveway, which they say their insurance won't cover because it was not their water line and did not happen on their property.
Brockway provided pictures that show mold and other damage in her basement.
A contractor found cracks too, which will add up for the 70-year-old retiree. 
"All of that is going to come out to well in excess of $50,000," says Brockway.  
A spokesman for Veolia released the following statement: "Our investigation into this main break did not find any evidence of negligence by Veolia. New York State law supports our decision on these types of incidents due to the vulnerability of our underground water lines to environmental conditions that are out of our control." 
Assembly Member Karl Brabenec says the right thing is for Veolia to resume responsibility for the damage and to help financially prepare for the repair process or he may refer this matter to a Senate committee or the attorney general.


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