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Scottsdale City Council OKs $571K payment to settle sewage overflow claims

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Scottsdale City Attorney Sherry Scott looks over documents during a recent public hearing at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/DigitalFreePress)

Scottsdale City Council approves settlement for alleged damages

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

Scottsdale City Council has agreed to a payment of $571,211.96 to Dentist Jacob Kent, principal at Kent Dentistry, for a sewer overflow incident that shutdown operations at the local dentistry office.

The incident occurred at 14201 N. Hayden Drive in Scottsdale in early December 2022.

In March of this year, Public records show, Mr. Kent filed a claim against the municipality of Scottsdale to the tune of $913,754.03, making claims the city failed to control sewer flow creating an overflow incident shutting down operations for three consecutive months.

“Jacob Kent, D. D. S. dba Kent Dentistry, Inc. (collectively referred to as ‘Claimant’] filed a notice of claim with the city on or about March 27, 2023 alleging the event caused him and his dental practice significant losses and required remediation of property, purchase of new furnishings, equipment, and supplies, and closing of his dental practice for over three months,” the Nov. 20 City Council report approved by Sherry Scott, Scottsdale City Attorney, states.

“Claimant also claims damages from business interruption, loss/decline of patient population, stigma, remediation (including future remediation], interest on credit loans for purchase of replacement equipment, tort claims, emotional and financial distress, and other personal injury and property damages, as a result of the event. The total amount claimed was $913,754.03.”

Ms. Scott points out the now-approved settlement agreement is the result of mediated negotiations handled by municipal legal staff.

“City staff is recommending that the City Council approve this settlement because the cost, uncertainty, and risk of going forward with any trial in these cases far outweighs the amount of the negotiated settlement,” she said.

Ms. Scott explains the negotiated settlement was made possible through collaboration with the Safety and Risk Management Department at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

“The Safety & Risk Management Department engaged an independent adjusting company to help document and assess the damages and prepare repair estimates in this unusual claim,” she pointed out of the collaborative process.

“The claims and amounts were later adjusted by the Safety & Risk Management Department and further analyzed by the City Attorney’s Office.”

Ms. Scott explains an expert from a forensic accounting outfit participated in the settlement analysis whereas the settlement payment will come from the current safety and risk management operating budget.

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