Avoid Class Action, Retain Your Own Attorney: Navigating Your Lawsuit After the Midland Area Flood
Note from Robert Giroux: With words like “class action” being thrown around, it’s important to remember your loss is unique. We highly recommend each person and business retain their own attorney. All victims have suffered varying degrees of destruction and should be individually evaluated in order to assess the true damages. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.
For residents in Midland, Edenville, Sanford, and the surrounding region, the pain brought by the COVID-19 just got worse, but this time, it has nothing to do with the pandemic.
The failure of the Edenville and Sanford Dams this week destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, forcing hundreds of residents to flee their homes, leaving 10,000 people to evacuate in the midst of a global pandemic. Many families saw their entire lives washed away by the floods.
Worse is the knowledge that this happened through no fault of your own—and that the disaster might have been preventable.
However, while this is a frightening time, this is not the moment to rush into a flood claim or rush to hire an attorney who doesn’t have experience handling such claims. Robert Giroux has handled several flood cases stemming from Florida hurricanes and has good relationships with some of the best experts and independent adjusters in the country.
Here’s a look at what happened in Midland, what that means for you and your family, and how Giroux Pappas Trial Attorneys can help give you an advantage in your coming lawsuit.
What Went Wrong in Midland?
The flooding in Midland happened because both the Edenville Dam and Sanford Dams failed on May 19.
That day, the Edenville Dam was breached and could no longer contain the water flowing through the spill gates due to heavy rainfall. Lake Wixom, a 2,600-acre reservoir with a storage capacity of 40,000 acre-feet of water, emptied out when the Dam was breached.
That same day, downstream of the Edenville Dam, the Sanford Dam was also breached during heavy flooding of the Tittabawasee and Tobacco Rivers.
Unfortunately, these breaches were not necessarily a surprise—to federal and state authorities, anyway.
Boyce Hydro Power, which owns both the Edenville and Sanford Dams, has a history of violations running the entire fourteen years it has owned both dams. Federal regulators revoked the company’s license two years before over safety violations on those same dams. This was due to multiple unresolved safety problems, including the failure to increase the Edenville Dam’s spillway capacity, an issue that would later be prevalent in the flooding—both dams remain structurally sound, but were breached because they could no longer contain the flow of water through the spill gates.
What Would a Lawsuit Look Like?
If you or a loved one were displaced due to the Edenville and Sanford Dams, you may be able to seek compensation for your loss.
Families who have suffered major property damage as a result of the flooding can seek recovery of the structure, recovery of financial losses, or recovery of items lost or damaged in the floodwaters. If personal injury was sustained as a direct result of flooding, you may be able to seek compensation due to negligent maintenance and safety protocols on the dams.
How We Can Help
The key to this process is working with your insurance company, the insurance company for the potential defendants and/or the governmental authorities.
What many people don’t realize is that all of these entities seek only to avoid liability, to minimize claims and to help themselves, not the people who file claims. You need good experts and an independent adjuster to help correctly identify and support your claim, and you need an attorney who understands how to handle flood damages cases.
Robert Giroux has handled several flood damages cases related to hurricane flooding in Florida, including condo associations, apartment buildings, and two class-action lawsuits. He also has relationships with some of the best experts and independent adjusters in the country.
Recovering Your Life After the Midland Area Flood
We know that this is an incredibly difficult time for families. You were already dealing with a time of stress and fear, and now the Midland area flood has washed away the support structure you had.
And in trying times, you need someone to stand up for you. That’s why we treat every client as we would our own families—because during your most difficult moments, you deserve nothing less. If you need to speak with an attorney about your options, schedule your free consultation today.