Case of trespassing leaky drain pipe? Lawsuit against Rock Hill dismissed

A longstanding trespass lawsuit with an odd suspect – an alleged leaking drain pipe – filed by a Rock Hill woman against the city claiming the pipe under her home has caused thousands of dollars in damages was dismissed Monday after her expert was not allowed to testify to the alleged damage, court officials said.

In the suit filed by Lucille Ray, she claimed that a pipe under her home at 330 College Ave. damaged the home. The lawsuit alleges the city’s pipe, and therefore the city, trespassed against her.

Ray declined comment Tuesday, saying the case remains in litigation. However, one of her lawyers, Richard Fennell of Charlotte, said, “She is not giving up.” Ray will appeal the ruling to the S.C. Court of Appeals.

The city of Rock Hill challenged the claim, saying in court documents there is no evidence of an alleged trespass by the pipe or the city, and no evidence that the pipe caused any alleged damages.

A pair of mediation attempts failed and the lawsuit, more than four years old, was set for trial Monday. Ray’s lawyers had filed a motion with the court hoping to take jurors from the Moss Justice Center in York to Ray’s home in Rock Hill to visually inspect the alleged damage.

But before testimony was heard, visiting Judge D. Garrison Hill ruled that Ray’s experts’ testimony was not sufficient, then ruled for the city in a directed verdict that dismissed the case.

Other than to confirm that the ruling of a directed verdict dismissing the case Monday was in favor of the city, Mark White, the city of Rock Hill’s lawyer, declined further comment.