STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- A battle between a homeowner and a contractor in Stratford began when a sewer pipe cracked and leaked into the home. The Department of Transportation weighed in saying it's a costly mistake the man shouldn't have to pay for.
The Department of Transportation hired a contractor, NY-CONN Corporation out of Danbury, to install traffic light detectors in front of the Lein's family home back in April of 2010.
Months later it was bad news when water started to pool in their basement, but now News 8 has brought the family some good news.
"There would be just a pool of water in the middle of the floor," said Stephen Lein, "but it was actually coming from the sink and we had no idea for a while."
That clue lead Lein outside to his sewer pipe. He hired his own contractor to fix it, putting him in the hole more than $4,000.
"They started at the back and replaced the entire sewer line and it was all intact," Lein said, "when they got to this point the ground was absolutely saturated directly underneath this center box."
It's what NY-CONN was contracted by the DOT to install for new traffic light detectors months earlier.
"The contractor, when they sign a contract with us, assumes all liability for damages that would occur as a result of their work," said Kevin Nursick, DOT.
News 8 called NY-CONN, they didn't want to do an on-camera interview, but they did speak with us over the phone. They pointed out that Lein waited 18 months to file his claim. Also, they said the pipe was old and the field worker out said they did nothing wrong.
"Apparently my sewer line was encased in cement underneath it," said Lein, "and so the one portion of my sewer line that was smashed through directly under a pipe they had installed."
He believes NY-CONN is denying a mistake. The DOT agrees.
"To us it's very clear cut that the result or the damage occurred as a result of the work by the contractor," said Nursick.
That's why he says even though they're not liable, the DOT will cover the costs and they'll go after NY-CONN.
"Even though it's not NY-CONN cutting you the check it's someone," said News 8's Stephanie Simoni.
"Well I feel whole again and it's really nice," said Lein, "cause you wake up in the morning and you're out $4,500 for you know, being an innocent bystander, so that's really good to hear."
We're told the money will go straight into the family's savings because that's where it came from to begin with. As for the DOT, they say the money could be billed to the project as an added expense and then they'll take up the issue with NY-CONN.
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