The Nebraska Supreme Court says more than a dozen Columbus homeowners whose basements were fouled by sewer backups during a 2004 rainstorm are not entitled to damages from the city.
The homeowners sought a total of more than $125,000 in damages. They said a city worker who restarted pumps at a sewage lift station caused the backup.
The state high court's decision released Friday reverses a Nebraska Court of Appeals ruling last year. The Court of Appeals found that while the city was not negligent, it was liable on the basis of "inverse condemnation." That's a legal term in which a government takes or damages private property for public use without paying just compensation.
But the high court said the homeowners didn't show their property was damaged "for public use."