Christine Lattimore is organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Danna Messer.
On August 2, Danna and Geoff Messer returned from an evening walk in their neighborhood on View Dr. to find raw sewage erupting out of all of their drains and toilets into their home. Before the night was over there was four inches of wall to wall raw sewage in their house as well as the house across the street. Apparently someone up the street flushed a pillow case down the toilet, causing a backup in the sewer line that met its breaking point at the lowest part of the street, which is where the Messer's and their neighbor’s houses are. They have been displaced from their homes, much of their belongings and furniture are destroyed, and their homes are a biohazard. Their homeowners insurance, Farmers Insurance, will not cover it, stating that it is the City of Sedona's obligation as it was a city sewage issue that occurred in the city street and not ON their property. The City of Sedona has denied the Messer’s claim for restitution, stating that it was the homeowner’s obligation to have a backflow system because they were at the lowest part of the street. The problem with that is that when Geoff Messer bought the house 10+ years ago, it was never revealed in inspections that the house was below the sewer line and that it needed a back flow system. How could an inspection for the purchase of a house have been approved if a backflow was required? Isn’t this sort of thing why home inspections are required to begin with? Additionally, when Geoff completely remodeled the house in 2008, he went to planning and zoning and obtained the required permits for the remodeling. P&Z never alerted Geoff that the house was below the sewer line and needed a backflow system. If you aren't an engineer and no one tells you through a purchase and then a remodel of the home that this is the situation, how are you supposed to know?? And this is not the first sewage issue this particular street has had. They had a manhole flood of sewage in the same area in 2008. Why were city repairs or provisions not made then? Why weren’t homeowners told they needed back flow systems then? The City of Sedona is claiming absolutely no liability what so ever. Meanwhile, the Messer's are facing 10’s of thousands of dollars of out of pocket expenses in remediation and repair to their home, replacement of their belongings and being currently forced to live in a biohazard as they have no alternate housing. Keep Sedona Beautiful? Really? This is an outrage! Danna and Geoff as well as their affected neighbor have consulted with an attorney willing to take on the City as well as the insurance company on their behalf. However, there are no funds to retain legal representation at this time. Let's please come together as the tight knit community that we are and help the Messer's get the social justice they so deserve.
We are looking to raise $5000 for legal retainer. Every single dollar helps! If for some reason our goal is not met, funds raised here will go toward the costly repairs to the Messer's home.