DORAVILLE, Ga – Metal plates and the damage beneath will apparently remain on a Doraville road until a lawsuit is resolved.
Drivers swerve around a portion of Jess Norman Way in Doraville, where a sinkhole led to damage and two metal plates that have been in place for more than two years.
Steven and Trudy Dean live nearby.
“It doesn't do anything to improve the value of our neighborhood,” says Steven.
Trudy Dean was still a member of the Doraville City Council when the sinkholes and damage to Jess Norman Way first appeared. She remembers questioning city administrators about repairs.
“When I asked, the response I got was the lawsuit is pending, so we can't do anything to it,” says Trudy.
The lawsuit was filed in 2013. Waffle House and the city of Doraville blame each other for storm pipe issues that helped create sinkholes on Waffle House property, then beneath Jess Norman Way.
A Superior Court judge initially ruled in the city’s favor, but an appeals court overruled decision, sending it back to Superior Court. Doraville asked the Georgia Supreme Court to review the appeals court’s decision, but the high court refused.
No one with the city of Doraville would agree to an interview, citing the ongoing litigation.
“The city is unable to repair its pipe until Waffle House repairs its pipe,” city attorney Leonid Felgin wrote in an email. “Hence the lawsuit.”
In a 2014 deposition, a city stormwater inspector said cars driving over the damage on Jess Norman Way "could cause it to sink further."
In an email, Doraville City Manager Shawn Gillian told us, “Doraville does periodic inspections of the roadway to make sure that is is still safe for vehicular traffic.”
Gillian further stated that “Dekalb County placed the metal plates, and we do coordinate with them to make sure the plates are stable and necessary maintenance is done.”
The lawsuit was sent back to Dekalb Superior Court in April. No hearings are scheduled at this time.