Restaurant owner sues

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2011

The owner of the Florala restaurant flooded in July with raw sewage and stormwater is suing the city and the city’s utilities board.

Owner Dwight Day filed the suit with the Covington County circuit court, alleging negligence because the entities failed to “properly and adequately construct, maintain and repair the city’s sewer system and water lines.”

Day said previously heavy summer rains on July 13 and the subsequent stormwater filled the city sewer system, causing the lines into his restaurant to back up.

“Sewer water had come in over the commodes, backed out all through the 10,000 square-foot restaurant,” he said.

Since the raw sewage poses a health hazard, the state health department pulled Country Folk’s food preparation license until the damage was repaired and tens of thousands of dollars in damages were accrued, Day is now seeking a judgment.

Florala Utilities manager Lynn Hughes said utility workers investigated the root of the incident and found grease blockages in the lines in the restaurant’s line – the major contributor to the incident.

“We also got an insurance adjuster here to do an investigation and an engineer to come and do a smoke test to see if he could determine it was anything other than a grease blockage,” she said. “Nothing else was found.”

The restaurant, which employs 14, reopened in September. When Day submitted claims to be reimbursed for the repairs, the utilities board denied it because of the insurance claim’s findings.

Day has asked for a jury trial, but no date has been set.