Homewood resident sues village over water bill

In a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday, Aug. 26, a Homewood man is alleging the village fraudulently inflated his water bill and is seeking $50,000 in damages.

Attorney Paul O. Otubusin said last week that his water bill had been at about $200 per billing cycle for several years.

Then June 5 he received a letter from the Village of Homewood alerting him to an unusual spike in water usage — $5,195-worth of water, according to the suit.

The suit notes that on June 4, Otubusin conducted recommended tests for leaks and found none.

Otubsin said in the suit that he spoke to and corresponded with village officials, who acknowledged that after a new digital water meter was installed May 17 water usage at Otubusin's residence returned to normal levels.

On Aug. 6, however, Otubsin said he received a bill for $5,347. He claims that bill is a misrepresentation of fact that was made with the intention of deceiving him.

Otubusin's attorney, Ubi O'Neal, said village officials did not seem willing to work with his client to resolve the situation.

“When something like this happens, they should investigate,” he said. “Instead, they took a stand.”

O'Neal, who is a member of Otubusin's firm, Otubusin & Associates, said the amount of damages sought in the case is intended to send a message to the village.

“You've got to set some kind of example,” he said. “We don't want this to happen to other people.”

Village officials declined to comment on the situation.

A case status hearing is set for Oct. 23.

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