New Bern Couple Wins Sewage Dispute With City

A New Bern couple is relieved, two years after a sewage overflow forced them out of their home.

The Jones have lived in their Metcalf Street home for 30 years. In 2012, the bottom floor was destroyed by overflowing toilets that seeped into vents, the subfloor and carpets. The incident also damaged their kitchen, living room, dining room and bathrooms.

The Jones say an expert from the Health Department came to their home and told them they needed to move out immediately.

After four days of testimony, a jury ruled the city of New Bern is responsible for the sewage overflow.

"My husband and I are both retired," says Sherry Jones. "We had a retirement nest egg that we worked really hard for through the years and we went through our retirement savings having to keep up two homes for 2 and a half months and the expense of restoring the house. What we've wanted all along was to be made financially whole like we were before this incident. That's happened so we are very happy."

The city's argument was that the overflow was caused by a blockage of paper products in the Jones' service line. The couple was awarded nearly $125,000.