Woman wants officials to pay back 85-year-old father’s $12,000 repair bill

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- After her father had to pay more than $12,000 to fix his sewer line, an Indianapolis woman says she wants officials to reimburse him.

Ann Sechman contacted CBS4 Problem Solvers after she said she couldn't get a response from a Citizens Energy official, who initially told her she could get reimbursement.

"He goes, 'If you can get pictures you’ll get your money back.' Well, now he won’t return my calls and I’ve called every week leaving him a message," Sechman said.

In April, Sechman's 85-year-old father told her raw sewage began backing up through his bathtub, toilet, and sinks. A plumber ultimately dug up his entire yard, diagnosing the problem as a crushed sewer line.

Sechman said that photos show the sewer line was broken by a large storm drain pipe which had been installed incorrectly.

"You don’t backfill with sand on top of a clay pipe with a pipe that’s five times its size. Whoever put it in did it wrong," Sechman said.

Ultimately, the work cost her father $12,600.

"He had to go get a line of credit to be able to finance it," Sechman said. "He’s on a fixed income, why should he have to pay for a city screw up?"

CBS4 Problem Solvers contacted the city of Indianapolis. A spokesperson for the Department of Public Works told us this was a Citizens Energy Group project, and that the company inspected the line but did not forward it to city officials.

A Citizens Energy spokesperson said a team at the company would investigate Sechman's complaint.

Sechman said she hopes to get a call back, and get her dad's money back.

"They should reimburse him, that’s what I’m hoping for," Sechman said.

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