[Adopted 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 1926]
The Borough of Hasbrouck Heights 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 ordinance and occurring under the 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 Borough 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 sewerage main into which such private premises is connected. Specifically excluded are claims resulting from blockages within the sewerage system of private premises and any lateral or other type of connection leading from that 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. For the purpose 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.
[Amended 7-14-2015 by Ord. No. 2343]
Notwithstanding the foregoing, no claim shall be recognized in the event that the sewerage system upon the premises includes any drains or other appurtenances or other openings or receptacles below the highest point of the grade level of the lateral or other device connecting that sewerage system into the main unless there is installed a backflow preventer in the system at a point nearer to the connection to the public system than any of those drains, appurtenances, openings or receptacles, with the exception of one cleanout opening before the backflow preventer which shall be securely sealed. Such backflow preventer must be of such type as required under the plumbing code in effect at the time of installation for new construction under such circumstances and further of the specific type approved by the Borough Engineer. Such required backflow preventer must have been maintained in accordance with the requirements of its manufacturer for the proper operation of such device, and any clean-out opening required in connection therewith shall be kept securely sealed.
Only individual owners of single-family, two-family or three-family 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 article.
The Borough will recognize such claims which otherwise qualify under this article only to the extent of such actual and direct compensatory damage against which the claimant exercised a reasonable effort in mitigation. Nominal, prospective, anticipated, speculative, remote, consequential and exemplary damages are excluded herefrom. Any claim partially covered by private insurance shall be excluded from coverage under this article to the extent of such private insurance coverage.
The Borough will compensate a qualifying claim for any of the aforesaid recognizable damages only as follows:
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 Borough Administrator upon such form as he or she may hereafter require within five days of the discovery of the damage for which recovery is sought. Any claim made thereafter shall be barred. The Borough Administrator shall determine whether and to what extent such claim is recognizable in accordance with the conditions and limitations hereinbefore provided. The Borough Administrator may thereupon forward the said claim to a licensed claims adjuster of the State of New Jersey to be designated by the governing body for investigation and a determination as to the amount of compensation to be payable under this article, if the Administrator deems necessary. Both the Borough Administrator and the claims adjuster may require, as they or either of them deem in their 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 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 Borough.