Skip to main content

Joe Montana sues San Francisco with neighbors over sewage-damaged homes

Former 49ers quarterback Joe Montana watches the Aer Lingus College Football Classic match between Notre Dame and Navy Midshipmen at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, in 2023. | Source: Ben McShane/Sportsfile/Getty Images

A high-profile group of Marina residents, including 49ers legend Joe Montana and real estate mogul Victor Makras, have filed a lawsuit against San Francisco, alleging their homes and nearby streets were flooded with sewage and rainwater due to flawed city infrastructure.

The flooding came after atmospheric rivers battered San Francisco with unusually high rainfall through the end of 2022 and early 2023. At least 58 residents, all living on Marina Boulevard between Webster and Baker streets, have signed on to the claims. That stretch of roadway, along the bay waterfront by Marina Green, was closed around New Year’s due to flooding.

Residents of Marina Boulevard say the storm and subsequent flooding were unlike anything they had seen before. The claims allege the flooding was not only the result of a freak weather incident; claimants say San Francisco’s sewage infrastructure was insufficient and the city is to blame for damage to their properties.

READ MORE: Joe Montana Among San Francisco Residents Threatening To Sue City Over Sewage-Damaged Homes

A Marina Boulevard resident documented the grime left behind by knee-high flooding that damaged her home on Dec. 31, 2022. | Source: Courtesy Joni Settlemier

“For many years, the city has had actual and constructive knowledge that the sewage and storm drainage system in and around the [Marina Boulevard area] cannot sufficiently handle anticipated conditions and rain events,” said the claim, which The Standard first reported on in early August.

The residents are represented by prominent San Francisco attorneys, including Khaldoun Baghdadi, former head of the city’s Human Rights Commission. Baghdadi said residents filed the claims in June—which are often a precursor to a lawsuit—to put themselves “back where they were” financially before the flooding. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday.

“We don't only trust the city to maintain the sewage infrastructure, but we pay it for doing so,” Baghdadi said. “When the city makes the decisions that cause raw sewage to flood homes, it is responsible for compensating residents.”

Some residents on Marina Boulevard have left sandbags by their garage doors to prevent future flooding. | Source: Liz Lindqwister/The Standard

“The intensity and duration of the storm that hit the city on Dec. 31, 2022, was almost unprecedented," Jen Kwart, a spokesperson for the City Attorney’s Office, said Monday. "It was the strongest storm to hit San Francisco in more than 170 years. The storm, and not the city’s infrastructure, was responsible for widespread flooding throughout the city. We are reviewing the complaint and will respond in court.”