Former Patton Hall resident takes to Twitter while awaiting resolution to March pipe burst

On March 6, water flooded Georgia State student Milan Gary’s dorm in Patton Hall. Due to an HVAC pipe bursting above her room, the ceiling of her dorm collapsed, causing flooding throughout. 

The pipe was quickly repaired in May. But five months have passed, and the incident has yet to be resolved.  

According to a Twitter thread posted by Gary, she had to relocate following the incident. She returned to her dorm in May to retrieve her things.

Upon her return, Gary’s possessions were wet and moldy, resulting in her throwing many items out. 

Though the broken pipe caused these damages, Gary might have to pay for damaged library books, notebooks and other items with her own money. As it stands, neither Georgia State’s housing partner, Corvias, nor Georgia State will assist her in replacing her things.

Georgia State Associate Director of Housing Shannon Corey said that Corvias decides “who is responsible for what damages” because Corvias holds insurance on the building.

According to Corey, the Georgia State housing staff has served as a “liaison” to provide Corvias with the report of the incident.

The housing staff has asked Corvias to provide an official response to Gary.

On August 10, after sending several emails, Operations Manager of Corvias Jeffrey Gill assured Gary that her emails have been seen.

“You are not being ignored. This has been pushed up to upper management and is awaiting disposition,” Gill stated in an email to Gary.

On August 31, Gary took to Twitter to share her frustration.

“Despite emailing them since the incident, all I’ve received are lackluster responses that attempt to confuse [me] with contract language and [a] flat-out respon[se] that they are not liable for any damages, despite the fact that my roommate and I did not cause this flood,” she tweeted.

Both Georgia State housing and Corvias reiterate that they are not liable for damages, referring to the contract signed by the students prior to rooming on campus.

Each Georgia State resident’s housing contract states the following in Section VII, Parts A and C:

  • Resident acknowledges and agrees that neither provider nor university will be liable for any damage or injury to Resident, Resident’s guests, or Resident’s personal property or to any person entering the room assigned to Resident or the Residence Facility, for injury to person or property arising from theft, vandalism, or casualty occurring in the room assigned to Resident or the Residence Facility. (Section VII, Part A – Acknowledgment and Release)
  •  Resident is strongly encouraged to purchase and maintain appropriate renters insurance as well as health and accident insurance and personal liability insurance. Resident acknowledges that neither Provider nor University carry any insurance on Resident’s personal property and are not liable for lost, stolen, or damaged personal property kept within the Residence Facility or on University property. (Section VII, Part C – Insurance)

Students experienced a similar incident when a sink broke in 2018, causing Patton Hall to flood.

Gary advises that students be aware of Georgia State housing.

“If you are thinking about dorming at Georgia State, be aware that pipes will burst just like in any apartment complex or home. The university can’t be held responsible, and neither can Corvias,” the tweet states.

The day after Gary took to Twitter, she received an email from Corvias. The company asked her for an invoice for the library books, stating that her claim was under review.

“The outcome might be optimistic,” she said. 

But after her tweet got around 5,000 retweets, Gary got a call from Georgia State housing.

“I got a call from [Corey] reiterating that the pipe bursting was not the fault of the university and that pipes can burst in any home or apartment and that that is what renter’s insurance is for,” Gary said.

As a result of the burst, Gary had to buy all new chargers, toiletries and clothing.

“My laboratory notebook was also destroyed, and I would have had to buy a new one if we hadn’t been sent home so abruptly,” she said. “While I haven’t yet been charged for the library books, they were due yesterday, and I keep getting emails that say I will be charged soon. Corvias has not explicitly said whether or not they will pay for the books. They only asked for an invoice.”