Chattanooga suing resident for being "public nuisance" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga suing resident for being "public nuisance"

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB)- The city will sue a Hixson man for being "a public nuisance."

He built a retaining wall to help stop flooding on his land but the city and his neighbor say it has done nothing but cause drainage issues.

Jason Headrick went before city council Tuesday night to plead his case, saying it's the city's fault there is bad water drainage on his street.

His neighbor and the city say otherwise.

Jason Headrick put in a retaining wall to stop flooding when he moved in to his house in Brynewood Park.

Now he is in trouble with the city and his neighbor.

Part of the land underneath the wall is caving in. After his neighbor complained about the runoff, the city told him he needed to fix it.

"I told them 'Well, that's not my problem. And I'm not gonna pay for that.' 'Well you have to.' I'm like, 'no, I don't have to,'" says Headrick.

"He is a nuisance to the community. He has no regards for anyone, no respect for anyone's property," says Trina Huelett.

Huelett lives next door and says anytime it rains her yard is flooded. She took her case to city council.

"My in-ground pool rose up and when it has receded it has cracked. My backyard is destroyed," says Huelett.

The city says Headrick did not properly install drainage underneath the retaining wall and there is nowhere for the water to go.

"From the city's perspective our damages are the fact that the water is actually backing up into the street and into the public right of way so it's creating a public safety issue," says Bill Payne, City Engineer.

Headrick claims it is the city's fault.

He showed Channel 3 cell phone video, saying even though the city installed a slightly larger drain, it still can't handle the water.

"As it goes down hill it picks up speed and it hits the drainage ditch and goes right out and it runs into a neighbor's yard," says Headrick.

He stuck by that story before council but it did not sit well with them.

"You're standing by your story that they city's completely at fault?" asked Councilman Andrae McGary asked.

"That's true sir," answered Headrick.

"Thank you that's all I need to know. Thank you," said McGary.

The council voted unanimously to pursue a public nuisance lawsuit against Headrick and said they have been dealing with him for five years.

Headrick already faces up to $5,000 in civil penalties with the city.

He claims he had permission from Huelett to do the work and says she caused the ground to cave in when she did work with a back hoe.

We will continue to follow this case.

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