One of the lawsuits against the City of Shreveport over water billing errors got dismissed in court.
Judge Ramone Lafitte ruled the city did not violate the non-disclosure agreement signed with Sand Beach Properties.
The city was able to convince Judge Lafitte the information in the non-disclosure agreement was not confidential.
Sand Beach plaintiffs Scott Pernici and Micheal Wainwright filed the lawsuit in 2016 after they told city officials about problems with water billing. They offered to fix it for a fee which would have amounted to about one-million-dollars, but the city had to sign a NDA first.
The city’s attorney, Julie LaFargue argued the Water and Sewer Department knew about the errors a year earlier and asked the software provider to correct it. However, Systems and Software did not so the city is taking them to federal court.
“It’s been a long 14 months and expensive for the city to defend, but we believed our position was correct and it was not a good use of tax payer money to pay for damages for the breach of an agreement that we felt was an invalid agreement and yesterday the court agreed with us,” Julie LaFargue said.
Sand Beach’s attorney Jerry Harper sent a statement saying in part, they “were shocked by the ruling and believes it’s a clear error.” Harper said the city originally claimed it was unaware of the water billing errors, but changed its position in court after a city employee testified she knew something was wrong, but did not know how to correct it.
Sand Beach said they believe the ruling will be reversed after an appellate review, but that will take more than a year. They’re still taking the city to court in January to attempt a class action lawsuit for over-billing customers.