DETROIT — A $900,000 home in Farmington Hills, Mich., must be bulldozed, at the owners' expense, because it sits on top of a leaking sewer pipe that could cause a sinkhole and disrupt sewer service to thousands of homes and businesses, according to a lawsuit filed in Oakland County Circuit Court.
Not so fast, say the homeowners, who note the house and its sewer connections were inspected and approved by both the City of Farmington Hills and the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner's Office. They have countersued, asking to keep their home and to be shielded from any damage claims stemming from what they call "faulty municipal work."
They also are seeking to sue Farmington Hills and Flagstar Bank, which sold them the home as a foreclosure.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Nanci Grant is to hear arguments in the case later this month.
The case highlights the risk of sinkholes, like the one in Fraser that damaged three homes and disrupted sewer service to thousands of residents. Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller estimates it will cost $78 million to fix.
A commission appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder last year concluded that Michigan must spend an additional $4 billion annually on infrastructure like water and sewer systems to ensure they meet the needs of a growing economy.