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Hall County denies claims in damage suit

Resident claims flooding from road damaged property

POSTED: August 2, 2014 12:12 a.m.

Hall County has denied allegations lodged by resident Don Stroud in a lawsuit seeking compensation for damage to his property.

During heavy rains, water pools between the gravel road and railroad ties roughly marking the end of Stroud’s property. The water often flows over these ties, pushing further into Stroud’s lawn, killing the grass and a few trees over the years.

Stroud would like the county to build a drain under the gravel road to disperse the pooled water to the other side, into his neighbors’ yard and along the natural drainage course.

But no fix has come, and now each side has lawyered up.

The county’s response was filed in Superior Court this week and obtained by The Times. Officials deny any responsibility for the problems Stroud is dealing with.

One of the county’s defenses is that the lawsuit makes no claim for what relief, financial or otherwise, can be given.

“Recovery under plaintiffs’ complaint is barred because Hall County did not create or maintain any condition that may have resulted in the alleged nuisance, trespass and the damages claimed by plaintiffs,” the response states.

The response goes on to state the county did not breach its duty to Stroud, and therefore is not legally liable.

Moreover, the response points the finger at Stroud, claiming he was negligent in mitigating the damages to his property.

Finally, the response claims Stroud is committing fraud and that the lawsuit should be dismissed.

“While the general ‘head in the sand’ denial is not surprising, I have to admit the insensitivity of Hall County’s response toward the Strouds is surprising to say the least,” said Gainesville attorney Julius Hulsey, who represents Stroud and his family. “Is this representative of how the Hall County commission feels toward Hall County taxpayers and its citizens?”

Hulsey takes aim at the Atlanta law firm, Freeman, Mathis & Gary, hired by the county, expressing disbelief it is asking the court for Stroud to pay its attorney fees and associated legal costs.

“Clearly, Hall County commissioners ought to be ashamed for allowing a hired gun from Atlanta to be so abusive against its own citizens,” Hulsey said. “Isn’t this our tax money being paid for this abuse?”


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