Settling A Case? What Does It Mean?

Settling your case means you are getting your case resolved. When your house is damaged this is a conflict, someone has wronged you. Settling your case, means that you’re receiving compensation for you to be able to fix your house.

Whether this means the money is going to go towards cleaning the mess up or to remediate your house, you will be getting paid back the money that you spent dealing with the problem someone else has caused. Now to do this we have to file a lawsuit and we will demand that they pay justice in fair compensation and if they do so, it’s called a settlement.

If they do not then we will take your case to trial and fight it that way. You always want to get your case settled because verdicts feed egos and settlements feed families and you want to get your case solved as fast as you can. 


If you have any questions leave them here.


Determining Your Sewage Flood Case’s Worth

When your house has been flooded with sewage and your home is ruined, you are in a complete and utter crisis.  So how do you determine the value of your case? What do you do? Well first call Oklahoma Sewer Lawyers, the #1 Lawyer in the #2 business. If you’re able to get your case settled, then YOU determine what it’s worth.

Once you gather all your information and once you come to us we will help understand your case’s worth. We will help you understand what the law provides. We will guide you through it and 9 out of 10 times we will help you get it resolved, whether it’s the city or the city’s insurance company.

However, in rare instances where an agreement on value cannot be reached we’re prepared. We will take the fight to the next level.  Entrusting your case to a jury and places the determination of value with impartial individuals. They will be able to assess the situation objectively.

If you feel you have a case leave information here. Let Us Help You!

Oklahoma Association of Justice Welcomes Jim Buxton as Newly Elected President

Jim Buxton was elected to serve as President of the Oklahoma Association of Justice (OAJ) on November 2, 2023. OAJ is comprised of trial lawyers and was the first of its kind. The OAJ was created in 1943 and is celebrating its 80th year as an organization. The OAJ was created for the purpose of advancing the cause of those who are damaged in person and property, who must seek redress therefor at law and believes all powers in the Constitution come from the people, and that the Constitution demands a remedy in the courts for every wrong, and it is the duty of all trial lawyers to pursue and accomplish this simple truth.
“I am honored to be elected by my colleagues to represent an organization dedicated to fighting for and preserving the rights of everyday Oklahomans”
Mr. Buxton is an active trial lawyer licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts. For the last decade, he has worked with lawyers from across the country to obtain justice for people who have been injured, accused, or wronged. He frequently teaches trial skills at legal seminars and is on the teaching faculty at the Gerry Spence Method in Dubois, Wyoming, Mr. Buxton is a proud member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and MultiMillion Dollar Advocates Forum; is rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell and has been selected to Super Lawyers in 2016, 2017, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.
When he is not in the courtroom he enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

The Guinns v. City of OKC

Have you filed a claim with the city, and they have denied your claim? You are not alone, it’s a scary place to find yourself, but with the help from Oklahoma Sewer Lawyers, you can end up just like our clients, The Guinns. The Guinns were victims of the City of Oklahoma City’s failure to maintain and repair the sewer lines. Due to the city’s failure, their home was flooded with sewage, causing substantial damage to their property and creating a nuisance. When they asked the city of OKC for help, they were ignored and were told that the City was not at fault. The Guinns called us and we conducted a thorough investigation into the cause of the sewage flood and were able to show that the City of OKC was in fact responsible for the flood and resulting damage. The City of OKC did not want to face a jury trial, so they chose to resolve the matter for $95,000.00. This enabled Katie and Justin Guinn to repair their home and put this behind them.

Holding Your Local Government Accountable!


Buxton Law Group recently & successfully settled a sewer flood case, highlighting the importance of taking legal action against negligent government entities.

On March 23, 2023, Adelina Atkinson and her two daughters, Wynette Abercrombie and Carmella Tate, experienced a horrifying event: their home in the Town of Washington Oklahoma began flooding with raw sewage from the Town of Washington’s sewer line. Despite their efforts to seek assistance from the Town of Washington, they were met with frustration and inaction. It was not until they hired Jim Buxton, a skilled trial lawyer, in May that they started to see progress.

The case of Adelina Atkinson and her daughters sheds light on the importance of taking action against negligent government entities. Their decision to hire Mr. Buxton and pursue legal recourse proved pivotal in quickly and successfully settling their sewer flood case.

Experiencing a sewer flood caused by a city’s negligence can be an overwhelming and scary situation. However, as the case of Adelina Atkinson and her daughters illustrates, homeowners have the right to seek justice and compensation. By understanding the legal avenues available and securing the help of an experienced attorney like Jim Buxton, it is possible to hold negligent government entities accountable for their actions. If you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to Buxton Law Group for a free consultation to explore your options on how the Buxton Law Group can help you navigate the legal process!


Can I Sue a City for a Sewer Backup?

If a city has failed to properly maintain its sewer system and caused a backup into your home, you may be entitled to sue the city for damages!
       As a homeowner in Oklahoma, you have the right to expect that your property will be protected from harm caused by the actions of your local government’s negligence. This includes the responsibility of the city to maintain its sewer system to prevent backups that can cause significant damage to your home and belongings.
       Under Oklahoma law, cities and other government entities are generally immune from lawsuits for their actions unless the government has waived that immunity. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and one of them involves “proprietary functions” of the government. A proprietary function is one that is performed by a government entity in the same manner as a private business or individual would perform it. In the case of a city sewer backup, maintenance and operation of the sewer system is a proprietary function of the city. Therefore, if the city has negligently failed to maintain the sewer system, and that negligence has caused a sewer backup into your home, you may be able to sue the city for damages.
       It is important to note that there are strict deadlines for filing lawsuits against government entities, so it is important to act quickly if you believe you have a claim.
       If you have experienced a sewer backup in your home caused by the negligence of your city’s sewer system maintenance, contact the Buxton Law Group so we can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. At Buxton Law Group, we are committed to helping homeowners in Oklahoma hold their local governments accountable for their actions. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options!

Jim Buxton awarded rank of Associate by The American Board of Trial Advocates

The American Board of Trial Advocates

Adding to his long list of achievements and accomplishments, The American Board of Trial Advocates, a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges, recently named Jim Buxton the rank of Associate.

The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization. Members must have at least five years of active experience as trial lawyers, have tried at least 10 civil jury trials to conclusion and possess additional litigation experience. Members must also exhibit the virtues of civility, integrity and professionalism by following our Code of Professionalism and Principles of Civility.

After being duly examined and verifying a number of credentials, The American Board of Trial Advocates found that Mr. Buxton possesses the requisite skill, integrity, and experience in the special art of advocacy to qualify for this rank.

There is still hope if the City denies your claim!

Sewage back-ups are not an uncommon experience in Oklahoma. And the City knows this. They also know there’s a select few of us – Sewer Lawyers, as we’re called – that reject the unacceptable excuses the government gives for refusing to compensate our clients.

When such a problem strikes, knowing what to do next can be overwhelming. In addition to having a disgusting mess on your hands and potentially dealing with the loss of material possessions, your property could experience substantial — and costly — damage.

Has the City denied your claim? Don’t worry quite yet…

The City does not have the final say. The jury does. The reason it is important to get in contact with us is because the City denying your claim during the 90-day pre-litigation claims process doesn’t mean they will ultimately escape liability. But they won’t come right out and pay you. You need a trial lawyer who can and will take the city to battle and effectively try a 3-day to 2-week long jury trial. We won’t roll over for any lowball settlement.

Generally, City employees are trained to deny responsibility and not do anything to assist the homeowner with clean-up; we see it happen all the time.

For example, in 2020 when our clients were told by the city of Durant that the City was not liable for a sewer backup that resulted in the destruction of our clients home, they turned to us.

After continued pushback and denial of fault from the City, we continued to fight back. This case went to jury trial where we obtained a $400,000.00 verdict for our clients in Durant, Oklahoma.

No case is too large or complex for our team. Our team of attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants take your case very seriously. From start to finish, you are our #1 priority. Contact The Oklahoma Sewer Lawyers if you need reliable legal representation .

When you hire the Oklahoma Sewer Lawyers, there are NO FEES up front

No Win No Fee Guaranteed

When you come to us for help after your home has been flooded with sewage, the last thing you need is a lawyer telling you they are gonna charge you a whole bunch of money up front.

Some people may have the money to get right back up on their feet after an accident like this, but the reality is that most people don’t. That means most cannot hire a lawyer by just paying them cash out of pocket. We represent people. Real people. When you are going through a difficult time like this the last thing we expect you to do is pay out of pocket for a lawyer.

The Oklahoma Sewer Lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means we front all the attorney’s time and any expenses that may be associated with pursuing a claim.

Additional reasons why contingency fees are so beneficial:

  • The use of contingency fees eliminates the existence of upfront fees. Because of this, our clients do not have the burden of having to pay us upfront. This also means that we front the cost of any expenses during the process, such as hiring experts.
  • It allows real people and clients with lower incomes equal access to the best legal representation and advising you can get.
  • Finally, one of the most important benefits of using the contingency fee option is that if the case is not won, you DO NOT PAY.

The Oklahoma Sewer Lawyers are here to fight for those who cannot fight these powerful interests themselves and to guide clients through what can be a frightening and confusing experience. Our hardworking staff will do everything legally and ethically possible to ensure that every client gets all the justice the law allows.

Contact us today if you think you have a case.

The City claims it’s not their fault

With the Oklahoma Sewer Lawyers, you are not alone.

The “ Governmental Tort Claims Act” was created by the Oklahoma government in order to “(1) to promote prompt investigations, (2) to provide early opportunity for correction of dangerous conditions, (3) to promote speedy and amicable settlements of claims and (4) to permit the governmental entity to prepare for fiscal consequences.” Sounds good, right?

As we all know, dealing with any government comes with obstacles. How do you know when a sewer backup into your house is not your fault? When you’re standing up to your ankles in sewage. There is no way you can get that much sewage from your toilets and drains into a line and it comes back into your house. If you have a good amount of sewage and it is flowing out of the toilets, sinks, or cleanouts, that is a problem with the City’s line. A lot of time, the City will blame it on you and say it is your fault.

The Oklahoma Sewer Lawyers have been navigating through these hurdles on behalf of our clients for over a decade. This article explains some of the ways a municipality can prevent their sewer system from backing up and flooding homes and businesses before a problem arises. This should not serve as legal advice, but as a general guide for sewer backup victims. For more in-depth information or for a case review, contact our office or send an email to

“What should I do next?”

For many, it is hard to fathom getting to a point in any relationship where a person must resort to suing another person or entity to resolve a conflict. However, protecting yourself, your family and your property is about as American as it gets. And for all the misplaced stigma associated with suing another person or entity, there is only justice when those harmed by another stand up to hold them accountable. But when your own government causes the issues and refuses to accept responsibility, it is downright offensive. Fortunately for Oklahomans, there is a path for recourse. That is, if you play by their rules in the law they wrote, the GTCA. If you haven’t already, check out our article entitled “The sewer is backing up into my house…” to catch up on what steps are taken before you even find yourself in a lawsuit.

Litigation 101

A “Petition” starts the litigation process after the Notice of Tort Claim has been denied. It is filed in the county in which your house is situated and served upon the municipality that was supposed to maintain and operate the sewer system properly. Then, the municipality or their insurance company will hire a lawyer that will be defending the suit, and he or she will deal with your attorneys on the case. There are three basic defenses that the municipality’s lawyer will employ.

As insulting as it is, their first defense is “WE DIDN’T DO IT!” This, we know in many cases, is just not true. This is because Oklahoma holds municipal sewer operators to what is known under the law as a “standard of care”.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has outlined the following as the standard of care for municipal sewer operators:

“When a municipal corporation assumes the control and management of a sewer system which has been constructed by it and under its supervision, it is bound to use reasonable diligence and care to see that such sewer is not clogged with refuse and is liable for negligence in the performance of such duty to a property owner injured thereby after reasonable notice of the clogged condition of such sewer.” 3 “The general rule is that where a municipal corporation assumes the control and management of its sewer system, which has been constructed by it and under its supervision, it is bound to use reasonable diligence and care to see that such sewer is not clogged with refuse and is liable for negligence in the performance of such duty to a property owner injured thereby after reasonable notice of the clogged condition of its sewer.” 4

Once the facts have been established or at least shown to the municipality’s lawyer that there is no liability defense (aka “THEY DID IT!”), there will be another defense. This is the “WELL, WE DIDN’T HURT YOU THAT BAD” defense. As discussed in a previous article 5 , claims against municipalities have damage caps. The property damage is fairly easy to establish with remediation estimates, repair estimates, furniture replacement costs, etc. This is all subject to the GTCA limit of $25,000.00, so even if your home is going to cost more to fix, the municipality’s lawyer cannot legally offer more. So how are you made whole?

Oklahoma City v. Romano, 1967 OK 191, ¶ 9, citing City of Holdenville v. Griggs, 1966 OK 34.

City of Holdenville v. Moore, 1956 OK 34, ¶ 8

From here, it’s all about the nuisance damages. Those are capped on a per person basis at $125,000.00 (or $175,000.00 for governments with a population of over 300,000). But how do you place a monetary value on annoyance, inconvenience and discomfort? Is being out of your house for months or wading through raw sewage in the middle of the night worth anything? What about the fear that it could happen again, or that future buyers will turn and run when you have to disclose the fact that the home has flooded with your neighborhood’s raw sewage? The answer from Oklahoma juries: a resounding YES!

It takes a long time from the date the Petition is filed to get in front of a jury. In the interim, there are many legal hurdles. First, the municipality’s lawyer is going to ask the judge to throw your case out with a motion to dismiss. When that fails, a scheduling order is put in place to let everyone know what the deadlines are. This is usually between six and nine months but can be longer. After that, they’ll write up a bunch of questions to ask you, call your neighbors, and subpoena records from anyone that had anything to do with the cleanup and repair of your home. This is called discovery. Then, they’ll ask your lawyer to present you for a deposition, which is where you answer live questioning under oath with a court reporter typing out the entire thing. They’ll use all that to, again, ask the judge to throw your case out with a motion for summary judgment.

Finally, after multiple failed attempts to make you or your claims look bad, the municipality’s lawyer may ask your attorney what you want to settle the case. Here is the last defense in response to your demand: “THAT IS WAY MORE THAN WE WOULD EVER PAY!” But is it? And more importantly, are they willing to risk that in a jury trial by your peers?

At Buxton Law Group, we don’t settle for any less than what our clients deserve. Multiple factors must be considered in evaluating a case, like how much property damage there is and what the damage cap is on a particular case. And settlement, while practical and reasonable in many circumstances, is not always feasible. Defense lawyers and municipalities know that litigation takes time to get to trial, and some prefer it that way. It is the hope of some municipalities that a sewer backup victim will get fed up with the long process and settle for a low-ball offer. We know their games, and if you find yourself here, we won’t stop fighting.

Litigation is never something that someone expects to find themselves in, especially against your own government. If you do find yourself in litigation, you need strong legal representation that is prepared to take your case to trial if necessary. Buxton Law Group will walk you through the entire process and fight to obtain the compensation you deserve after your house is destroyed by the negligence or the failing infrastructure of a municipality.

For more information, check out some of our other articles on sewer backup litigation or give us a call. We’re here to help.