Suit against city dismissed

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   A lawsuit filed by two residents against Elizabethton city government and East Tennesseee Railway over flooding in July 2001 that damaged their residential property has been dismissed in Circuit Court.
   The suit filed on behalf of Carlos Bradford and his wife, Betty Bradford, both of 2016 Forsythe Dr., sought $50,000 in damages from the city and railway in connection with flooding damage sustained to their property after heavy rainfall occurred on July 3, 2001.
   Attorney Kent W. Garland, of Erwin, who represented the Bradfords, filed a voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit on Dec. 19 in Carter County Circuit Court.
   Initially filed in September, the Bradfords' suit alleged that the city and railway failed to keep drainage ditch lines and drain culverts located behind the couple's home clear of debris. The plaintiffs allege that, due to the defendants' inaction, they sustained severe property damage caused by the flooding.
   In its answer, the city's attorney, Samuel K. McPeak of Johnson City, admitted damage had occurred to the plaintiff's property during the July 3 rainfall. However, he denied negligence on behalf of the city citing the "act of God" flooding. The city's response also denied neglecting to maintain its drainage system and stated if the sewage system malfunctioned, it was due to "extraordinary rain amounts".
   The plaintiffs alleged the city and railway should have been aware of the possible problem with the ditch lines. The suit had sought $50,000 to recover property damages. Circuit Judge Thomas J. Seeley dismissed the lawsuit without prejudice on Dec. 19.