STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – One Stillwater couple said a costly contractor mistake left them with a huge bill and an eyesore in their front yard.
Weeks after paying $2500 to fix a broken sewer line that wasn’t their fault, Sue Miller and her husband want a reimbursement but said no one involved will take responsibility.
“This is just a nightmare,” said Sue Miller, motioning to the aftermath of a mess a company contracted by AT&T left.
The work was for an installation around the neighborhood, but not her home’s internet installation.
“They were boring under our front yard, I guess to put wi-fi in for AT&T. And they bored through our sewer line,” she added.
Sue realized it was more than an eyesore when she and her husband tried to use the bathroom in her home.
“Thank goodness it didn’t go over. But it didn’t flush. It wouldn’t go down. We tried the other bathroom. That didn’t work either,” she added.
Miller said she and her husband ended up paying $2500 for sewer line repairs, and another almost $120 for a night at a Best Western:
“My husband is handicapped, so we had to go to a motel that night. Obviously, we couldn’t stay here. We had no water or any bathrooms or anything,” she said.
Then there’s a $205 estimate to repair the damage done to the lawn.
“So yeah, it’s pretty frustrating. All I want is just reimburse the money that we were out,” said Sue.
She said she filed claims for reimbursements but they were denied. Now it’s hard to know who to hold accountable, and how.
“AT&T says it’s not their fault. Superior that they … they, I guess, work through, and Superior hires, Marshall’s another contractor. Anyway. Superior says not their fault, Marshall said, not their fault, even though they’re the ones that literally drilled right through our sewer line. Nobody wants to pay.”
In a letter to the Millers’, the City of Stillwater said the damage wasn’t their fault because the work was done by an independent contractor, and because the City is not responsible for personal sewer lines.
AT&T, which hired the independent contractors who did the work, sent KFOR a statement:
As we work to bring high-speed fiber internet to more communities, our goal is to minimize impact on residents as much as possible. Our contractor has investigated this claim and shared their findings with the homeowner.
But Sue said Sedwick, the company that also manages claims for AT&T also said they’re not responsible.
Sue said she just wants a reimbursement.
“Nobody ask us if we wanted AT&T to put wi fi in. I will tell you one thing. If you ever get an opportunity, be sure and tell them no, because they’re not careful. And if something happens, it ain’t their fault,” she said.
While a company may not be liable for contractor negligence, it could be possible to file a claim against that contractor’s bond, or go to small claims court.