Frustration levels are reaching the breaking point for Lindon homeowners who experienced property damage when the Murdock Canal failed last May, flooding parts of their neighborhoods.
It's been 102 days since the mishap occurred, and settlements have still not been reached between the majority of the homeowners and the Provo River Water Users Association, which operates the canal."Everyone is disappointed that the canal company hasn't accepted responsibility when they said they would in the beginning," said Randy Childs, a Lindon resident whose property was damaged by the flood. "The frustration is that we can't get anyone to accept responsibility. It's amazing that something like this could happen, and no one could do anything about it, outside of litigation."
Admiral Insurance Co., representing the association, initially made homeowners a settlement offer of 50 percent, less depreciation value for their damaged property. The homeowners made a counter offer asking for compensation for 90 percent of actual depreciated losses.
In a letter dated Aug. 12, Admiral rejected that offer and said the company is standing by its previous offer. Admiral said a review of the canal break did not indicate negligence by the association.
Gred Stidham, an adjuster with General Adjusting Bureau in Salt Lake City, said 15 homeowners have settled their claims.
"I'm really frustrated and irritated," said Teresa Griffin, Lindon resident. "It's just not a fair situation. I feel angry, especially when they are doing nothing to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else."
Homeowners in Lindon believe that burrows created by rodents and higher-than-normal water flow in the canal were responsible for the canal's failure. Jack Gardner, superintendent of the water users association, said he believes the failure may have been caused by underground water activity. However, engineering reports commissioned by Lindon City, Admiral Insurance and the association have lent credence to the rodent and high-flow theories.
The Lindon homeowners are asking that the association negotiate fair and equitable settlements with owners of damaged property.