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Queens Chronicle

What to do if you have not filed flood claims

90-day window for 4/30 victims passed

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Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:52 am, Thu Aug 7, 2014.

Residents and homeowners in Lindenwood who have not filed claims related to damage from the April 30 flood may be out of luck.

The 90-day window to file for damages with the city closed on Monday, and in order to seek restitution, there are extra steps to take, according to Bruce Baron, a lawyer representing residents who are suing the city for the flood.

The city Department of Environmental Protection has taken the blame for the April 30 deluge that damaged dozens of homes in Lindenwood and East New York, Brooklyn. The flood occurred after over five inches of rain fell on that day. The city said a malfunction of the Spring Creek sewer retention plant caused water to back up into the neighborhood.

Residents had until Monday to file claims with the city. Those who haven’t and still want to file to get money for damages must file an Order to Show Cause to the state Supreme Court in order to be allowed to file. With it, a victim cannot join a lawsuit against the city that is being filed by Baron on behalf of the residents.

“It’s really a shame that the city is capitalizing on some victims’ reluctance to and/or reliance and not informing them of crucial dates and actions they must take,” Baron said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleges the city has been negligent in maintaining the sewer infrastructure in the neighborhood and that increased development over the last few decades has overwhelmed it, causing regular flooding problems, though not as bad as the April 30 inundation.

Some residents, including James Noto, whose basement was destroyed by the April 30 flood and damaged by several other flooding events, including Hurricane Sandy, allege DEP crews out before last Friday’s storms told him personally that the catch basins around his home were defective and were not catching water correctly.

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