Class action lawsuit against Shreveport to include all water and sewer customers

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Caddo Parish judge signed an order ruling that every Shreveport and Caddo Parish resident who is or has been a water and sewer customer of the City of Shreveport has a right to be certified in a class action suit that alleges the City has overcharged tens of thousands of water and sewer customers from as far back as 2007.

The lawsuit, filed March 29, 2017 by Scott Pernici, Michael Jones and Mark DeFatta on behalf of everyone else who gets a water and sewer bill from Shreveport, claims the City used a system that took the highest usage months to compute charges in the lowest usage months, violating the ordinance that determines how water and sewage should be billed.

Three weeks after the 182-page lawsuit was filed, the City of Shreveport filed a 21-page exception asking Caddo District Judge Mike Pitman to throw it out.

Plaintiff attorney Jerry Harper countered with a memorandum opposing dismissal, saying the City’s exception didn’t deny the allegations, but rather said it was a matter of interpretation.

After a hearing on June 12, 2017, Pitman ruled against the City, and the case has been weaving its way through the courts ever since.

Harper has requested a number of documents, including a review of the Water and Sewage Department’s practices, but has difficulty obtaining them, as well as other documents that will help his team calculate just how much money the City of Shreveport will owe its citizens.

In addition, Harper said, he has asked to depose the accounts who did the review, which he believes was completed in the fall of 2018.

Today, Pitman gave the City 30 days to produce the documents requested by the plaintiffs.

If the City is found culpable, Harper believes the City could owe millions to its citizens, but no one will know until the actual documents can be obtained.

The City and the plaintiff’s legal team will be back in court on Oct. 14.

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