Homeowner sues Summit Natural Gas

A lawsuit alleges contractors for Summit Natural Gas did not take steps to prevent soil erosion around a house they worked at.

A lawsuit filed by a Lake-area homeowner is the latest wrinkle in a series of allegations involving contractors for Summit Natural Gas.

Theresia May sued the company for property damage on May 21. Court documents show contractors buried a gas service line on May's property in the spring of 2013. According to the complaint she filed, the contractors did not replace the timbers she had installed to prevent soil erosion and did not install check dams or other erosion control devices. When it rained, water carried mud and debris downhill and through a side door, flooding her basement. That caused $29,698.18 in damage, including buckled wooden floors, ruined carpets and mold. KRCG 13 could not reach May for comment Sunday.

May's complaint describes a similar pattern of behavior other Lake-area residents have reported to KRCG 13. Camden County resident Michael Stark has a preconference hearing before the Public Service Commission this week about a pipeline that was buried on his private road without his permission. He said the contractor did not fill in the pipeline trench properly, allowing rainwater to effectively wash out the road. Vicki Sucher, who lives just a few miles from May's property, said contractors dug up her yard over the winter to get to a service line without telling her first and have been slow to fix the damage. Summit's president visited her on Friday and promised her yard would be repaired. Ray Metscher, the operator/manager of the Gravois Arms Sewer District, said contractors working for Summit struck sewer lines on at least 10 or 12 occasions in the late summer of 2013.

Summit representatives did not return a request for comment, though in the past they have said the company does not comment on pending or potential litigation.