VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — Talk about super soakers.
The DWP said Wednesday that it was all a big mistake. Eight months ago, a Van Nuys couple received a water bill for more than $51,000.
Savely Goreshter told CBS2’s Randy Paige he was beyond shocked after opening the bill.
“I cannot pay 52,000 thousand,” he said. “Sue me, put me in jail, what is this?”
Goreshter says when he asked the DWP how his bill could possibly be that high, he was told he must have a leak — possibly from a toilet or faucet.
He then says he began receiving shut off notices.
“I was very mad and nervous, and I’m OK, but” he said, “this is very bad for my wife.”
Stella Goreshter recently recovered from removal of a brain tumor.
The Goreshters, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, were afraid they could lose their condo.
LA Times Columnist Steve Lopez wrote an article for Wednesday’s newspaper about the couple’s huge bill.
The DWP, meanwhile, sent out its own team to investigate.
“There are thousands of people out there maybe tens of thousands of customers who have been overbilled,” said attorney Tim Blood.
The lawyer has filed a clas- action lawsuit for overbilling customers.
At DWP headquarters, Assistant General Manager David Wright said the $52,000 bill was a mistake caused by a faulty meter.
“I could not understand how a couple living in a condo could use $51,000 worth of water,” Wright said.
Yet for eight months, the couple was told they had to pay the bill.
“I could say nothing more than we completely apologize for putting that stress in their life,” said Wright.
The DWP told Paige the Goreshters would be credited.
“And will be basing their revised bill on what they’ve actually used in the past,” Wright said.
Paige later returned to the Goreshters home to give them the good news.
Goreshter kissed Paige’s hand and said, “I’m very happy.”
Mrs. Goreshter said, “I’m so glad this is over.”