[HISTORY: Adopted by the governing body of the Township of Little Falls 5-5-2002 by Ord. No. 911 (Sec. 19-4 of the 1995 Revised General Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township of Little Falls will recognize certain claims for damages resulting from the backup of sewage from the public sewerage system onto certain private premises occurring after the effective date of this chapter and occurring under certain specific circumstances, all as hereinafter specified, notwithstanding the immunity from such claims afforded by Title 59 of the statutes of the State of New Jersey but, nevertheless, without prejudice to any other specific defenses which it may have beyond the limited circumstances specified herein and also without prejudice to any defense whatsoever that the Township may have as to any other similar claims not recognized hereunder.
Claims recognizable hereunder shall be limited to only such claims for actual damage to property directly caused by contact with public sewage that has backflowed from the public sewerage system into private premises as the result of a blockage within a public sewer main into which such private premises is connected.
Any claim resulting from blockages within the sewerage system of private premises and any lateral or other type of connection leading from the sewerage system on private property into the public main, including the connection to the main, even though such lateral or other type of connection may be partially located in a public right-of-way shall not be recognized as a claim under § 191-1. For the purposes of this section, the lateral or other type of connection shall include the collar or other devices by which connection into the public main is made.
Notwithstanding any provision in this chapter, no claim shall be recognized in the event that the sewerage system upon the premises includes any drains, appurtenances, openings or receptacles below the highest point of the existing grade level over the lateral or other device connecting that sewerage system into the public sewer main unless there is installed a check valve in the system at a point nearer to the public sewer main than any of those drains, appurtenances, openings or receptacles with the exception of one cleanout opening before the check valve which shall be securely sealed. Such check valve must be of such type as required by the administrative authority in effect at the time of the adoption of this chapter for existing or new construction under such circumstances. Such required check valve must have been maintained in accordance with the requirement of its manufacturer for the proper operation of such device, and any cleanout opening required in connection therewith shall be kept securely sealed.
Only individual owners of single-family, two-family or multifamily residential dwelling premises who make such premises their primary residence and who own such premises in their own individual name or names, and from whose insurance coverage the claim is either fully or partially excluded shall be qualified to make a claim under this chapter.
The Township will recognize such claims which otherwise qualify under this chapter only to the extent of such actual and direct compensatory damage against which the claimant exercised a reasonable effort in mitigation. All other damages, including, but not limited to, nominal, prospective, anticipated, speculative, remote, consequential, exemplary, pain and suffering and punitive damages are excluded hereunder. Any claim partially covered by private insurance shall be excluded from coverage under this chapter to the extent of such amount of private insurance coverage.
The Township will compensate a qualifying claim for any of the aforesaid recognizable damages up to a maximum limit of $1,500.
Any claimant qualifying hereunder may seek recovery as herein provided by filing in writing an application signed and certified as to truthfulness by the qualifying owner or owners of the premises. Such application shall be filed with the Township Administrator upon such form as he or she may hereafter require within seven days of the discovery of the damage for which recovery is sought. Any claim made thereafter shall be barred. The Township Administrator may require, as he or she may deem in his or her own discretion reasonably necessary, such further proof and inspection. Any applicant refusing any request for the same shall be disqualified for recovery hereunder. Such payment as determined by the Township Administrator to be payable shall not be paid to the claimant or claimants until each of them has duly executed a full and complete release from any and all further liability of the Township.