Story by Matt Young. Photos by Hal Goodtree.
Cary, NC – William “David” Bowden, the man who painted his house with a message to communicate displeasure to the Town of Cary, passed away at age 69 on June 1 after a fight with lung cancer. But the legal issues live on.
A Strange Chronicle
We originally reported this story in CaryCitizen’s infancy. National news was made when David Bowden of Maynard Road spray painted his own house with the now locally famous message. Mr. Bowden contended that the renovation of Maynard caused runoff, flooding his crawl-space when it rained.
The Town began fining Mr. Bowden for violation of the municipal sign ordinance. Mr. Bowden sued the Town with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Earlier this year Mr. Bowden had changed the sign on his house from the original “Screwed by The Town of Cary” to “Still Screwed by the Town of Cary – Come see some of Cary’s finest engineering and construction work – Guided tours available – Oh, by the way, now I have lung cancer – but remember I put up a good fight.”
A judge ruled in Mr. Bowden’s favor. The Town has appealed.
Legal Issues Unresolved
With the passing of Mr. Bowden, his rights in this case pass on to his heirs. An internet search brought up several entries that in North Carolina, a “survival statute” states that in cases when death occurs before settlement, the estate or surviving dependents may assume the victim’s cause of action until the matter is settled.
Susan Moran, Cary’s Public Information Director told CaryCitizen:
“The Court of Appeals has extended by 60 days all filing/action deadlines to allow the parties to review their positions in light of the circumstances and to consult about next steps. This means nothing official will likely happen until late August.”