Couple files suit over alleged tainted well water |

Couple files suit over alleged tainted well water

Grass Valley and Nevada County officials allegedly failed to warn a Nevada County couple that Wolf Creek was polluted and posed a risk to their well, court papers show.

Melvyn and Kathy Hebert claim they suffered diarrhea and cramps in fall 2000 after drinking well water contaminated from Wolf Creek sewage spills, according to papers filed in Nevada County Superior Court last month.

Their visiting grandson, now 2, fell sick as well, the Heberts allege in court papers.

The Heberts, who live on five acres along Wolf Creek, spent more than $25,000 on medical bills, lost wages and other expenses, and are seeking permission to sue the city and the county, their attorney, Sandra Stanley, said Monday.

The case is scheduled to come before a Nevada County Superior Court judge Friday.

Under state law, a claim should have been filed within six months. The Heberts said they filed theirs late because they had been misled, court papers show.

“They never told me to file a claim within six months,” Kathy Hebert said Monday, referring to city and county officials. Instead, Hebert said, she was told to file a claim against the previous owners of their property.

Hebert also said she had never filed a suit against a public agency and did not understand the proceedings, court papers show.

If the judge rules against her clients, Stanley said she will appeal the case to the 3rd District Court of Appeals.

The Heberts should have filed a timely claim, Alvin Gittisriboongul, a Sacramento attorney representing the city, said Monday.

Nevada County Deputy County Counsel Edward Kiernan was out of town Monday and could not be reached for comment.

“At this point, we haven’t gotten to the merits of the case itself,” Gittisriboongul said.

In the meantime, Kathy Hebert said she and her husband continue to drink bottled water.

“I don’t want ever to trust the water around us,” she said.

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