AKRON, Ohio - Melissa Gura of Akron has been trying to get the city law department to replace her family's portable basketball hoop since May.
Gura told NewsChannel5 the $400 hoop was mistakenly picked up by an Akron sanitation crew and destroyed, while neighbors pleaded with city workers to stop.
Neighbor Louise Marshall witnessed the incident, but was unable to prevent the mistake from happening.
"I told them this isn't trash. This is the kids' basketball hoop," Marshall said. "But they said, 'Sorry, it's out on the street, and it's trash to us.'"
Gura claims high winds may have knocked the hoop over, and that Akron city officials pledged to replace their basketball hoop just two days after the incident.
"They admitted their driver was on the wrong street, on the wrong day, so the garbage crew shouldn't have been here," said Gura. "They said they were going to take care of it, and I said 'Great, they're going to do the right thing.'"
But Gura told NewsChannel5 Troubleshooter Joe Pagonakis, several weeks went by and the city finally told them they wouldn't get them a new hoop, instead directing them to used hoops that were confiscated by police.
"These used hoops were all broken down and rusty," said Gura. "My son's hoop was fully operational and practically brand new."
The Guras claim the city of Akron was preparing to close the case without replacing the basketball hoop with a new one.
NewsChannel5 contacted Akron City Assistant Director of Law Stephanie York about the case, and we received an immediate response. The city issued the following statement:
"Law has already re-evaluated the claim and has decided to pay the replacement cost of the basketball hoop. Letter was sent by US mail today."
NewsChannel5 will continue to follow-up on this developing story.
Residents should contact their city law department or mayor's office when filing a claim with their city. Be prepared to fill-out a complete claim form, either online or in person.
It is customary for claims to take a number of months before a decision is reached and a settlement check is issued.
Meanwhile, children in the Guras' neighborhood are looking forward to getting their basketball hoop replaced.
"I thank the city of Akron for doing the right thing," said Gura. "I know the kids are excited to have the hoop back in the neighborhood."
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