MSD sues man who isn't a customer

MSD admitted they make mistakes once in a while. For Ralph Baumueller, MSD's mistake cost him time and attorney fees for the last six months.

BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS, MO. - A Bellefontaine Neighbors man received hundreds of bills for a service he was not using and that he didn't even sign up for. The Metropolitan Sewer District even tried to take him to court because he wasn't paying up.

That's when he turned to 5 On Your Side's PJ Randhawa for help.

Now, MSD is rethinking the lawsuit.

MSD admitted it makes mistakes once in a while. For Ralph Baumueller, MSD's mistake cost him time and attorney fees for the last six months.

Every month since Baumueller moved to Bellefontaine Neighbors in 2004, he's gotten bills from MSD. Initially, he threw them out.

"We have a septic tank. How can they charge for sewer service if you don't have a sewer?" said Baumueller.

It's even written on the deed to his home. "No sewer hook up, no need for MSD services."

So what's with all the bills?

"The letter says balance due, $1,640. They threatened in the letter, they will sue us if we don't pay," said Baumueller.

Despite calls to MSD over the years to stop the billing, Baumueller said he was given a summons in January to appear in court. MSD was coming for the thousands of dollars it claimed Baumueller owed.

"I was very upset and I started to shake inside," said Baumueller.

Baumueller reached out to 5 On Your Side for help. And when we went to MSD, it finally admitted all the bills were part of a big mistake.

A spokesman from MSD told us the district accepts full responsibility for the mistake and it has since cleared out the balance due on Baumueller's account. The spokesman also told us this could've all happened because of bad information passed along by the water company.

It's some comfort to Baumueller to know the bills will stop, but he is stunned it took MSD so long to realize its mistake.

"I would like to see MSD change their behavior. Instead of charging everyone who gets water, to actually do their job and go out to their customers and future customers and start there," said Baumueller.

A spokesman from MSD told us it will be doing a dye test on Baumueller's property to confirm that he is not using MSD services. The case was officially dismissed on Friday.

MSD will have to pay all court fees involved.

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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