MIDLAND COUNTY DAM FAILURE LAWSUITS
FLOODING AT EDENVILLE DAM AND SANFORD DAM FORCES OVER 10,000 TO EVACUATE
In late May 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
declared a state of emergency for Midland County, after two catastrophic dam failures forced thousands to evacuate their
homes and seek higher ground. The dam failures occurred at Edenville Dam
and Sanford Dam, which are owned by Boyce Hydro Power LLC: a private entity
with a history of safety violations and noncompliance.
With over 10,000 Midland County residents displaced and dealing with major
property damage, it is likely that many flooding victims will need to
seek compensation to account for their losses. While third-party investigators
are still looking into the cause of the dam failures, it is possible that
Boyce Hydro Power LLC or Michigan state regulators may share some of the
liability. Whatever the cause, our experienced attorneys at Grewal Law
PLLC can help you navigate the process of filing a property damage lawsuit
or insurance claim for flooding losses.
Contact us at (888) 211-5798 today to explore your legal options. We offer
free, no-obligation consultations.
A History of Regulatory Issues at Michigan’s Dams
At least 75% of the dams in Michigan are currently owned by private companies
– and over the years, these companies have faced significant criticism
for failing to properly maintain the dams. In 2018, the
American Society of Civil Engineers gave Michigan’s 2,600 dams a below-average rating, categorizing
5% as “high hazard dams” that posed a serious health and safety
risk to the public.
At Edenville Dam – which collapsed on May 19th after unusually heavy rainfall – Michigan energy regulators had
repeatedly warned Boyce Hydro Power LLC to comply with safety regulations,
even going so far as to revoke the dam’s license to generate power
in 2018. Although Boyce Hydro has
accused the Michigan’s department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) of pressuring the company to artificially maintain water levels
at Wixom Lake, EGLE contests this argument.
The state agency has also voiced “strong concerns” about the
dam in the past. In particular, EGLE inspections have revealed that Edenville
Dam did not meet the federal requirements for spillway capacity in the
event of a “probable maximum flood” or PMF. As a result, when
the dam was overcome by flooding, the water rushed on to Sanford Dam in
a devastating domino effect.
Can I Seek Compensation for Flooding and Property Damage?
At this time, our attorneys at Grewal Law PLLC are investigating the cause
of the Edenville and Sanford dam failures and representing those with
property damage and personal injury claims. Both individuals and businesses
may be entitled to recover their financial losses from the flood, whether
through the insurance system or a lawsuit. Because some insurance policies
have exclusions for flooding damage, it is important to carefully review
your insurance policies with an experienced lawyer, as well as explore
any other legal options that might be available to you.
You may be eligible for compensation if you’ve suffered any of the
- Damage to homes and apartment buildings
- Loss or destruction of personal property
- Damage to vehicles, such as cars, boats, trucks, and motorcycles
- Serious injuries
Grewal Law PLLC is here to help flooding victims get fair compensation
after the Midland County dam failures. Contact us right away at (888) 211-5798
if you need to schedule a free consultation.