NORTH TERRE HAUTE, Ind (WTHI) - A North Terre Haute couple wiped out by unprecedented flooding this past spring is wagering all they have, financially, in an effort to re-coop at least some of their losses.
John and Donna Bays, 30-year residents of the Mottesheard Mobile Home Park on North 6th Street, have hired local attorney Noah Gambill to dig deeper into their case, and see if the couple might be legally entitled to some type of compensation given the allegation that landowner Rodney Mottesheard was duly warned of potential flooding by the city of Terre Haute, though failed to pass the message on to his tenants.
"To be up-rooted like that for anybody is traumatic,” Gambill told News 10. “But to know that something could have been done to forewarn them makes it even more concerning!"
Gambill visited the News 10 newsroom on Thursday to view the station’s April coverage of the historic flood and its effects on the Mottesheard Mobile Home Park.
In one story, city engineer Chuck Ennis offered proof, including a certified letter to Mottesheard, that the landowners were notified in November 2010 that the city was planning to physically and deliberately alter the nearby levee per a longstanding recommendation by the Army Corps of Engineers. That work was finally done in the summer of 2011.
In earlier telephone conversations with News 10, Rodney Mottesheard admitted to having received the official letter; however, the landowner stopped just short of confessing he had, in fact, sat on the information instead of informing and warning tenants like the Bayses, who’ve shown loyalty to the Mottesheard family the past three decades.
"The loss of their property, their home; they owned that home,” said attorney Noah Gambill. “The loss of the personal property inside! Their vehicle -- expenses for moving as well as storage expenses,” he added describing potential damages the Bayses could be eligible to recover.
Gambill said it’s still too early to commit to the filing of a civil lawsuit; and the prospect of other mobile home park families getting on-board with the legal endeavor.
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