City attorney speaks on Shreveport Water and Sewer class-action lawsuit

Published: Jun. 13, 2017 at 10:19 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2017 at 11:05 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport officials will now have to move forward with a class-action lawsuit against them regarding its water billing practices.

City attorney William Bradford says a judge disagreed with the city's request to toss out the lawsuit on Monday.

Bradford said he believes the lawsuit has no legal basis.

The suit claims the city overcharged as many as 65,000 customers in the tens of millions of dollars on their water and sewer bills for over ten years.

"It does not mean he (the judge) agrees with the person or the plaintiff, it does not mean that he disagrees with them," Bradford said. "We're confident that as the materials, and evidence and facts develop throughout the lawsuit that the city will be in a good position and posture to move forward."

Attorney Jerry Harper represents the plaintiffs in the suit and says the city has cost some residents to have their water shut off because they refused to pay amounts of money they did not owe.

Harper added these complaints have been going on for years.

When asked about any connection to the former Shreveport administration under then-Mayor Cedric Glover, Bradford declined to comment.

Bradford says a similar defamation suit against the city was recently thrown out in May and believes this one could cost taxpayer money if it plays out.

"Of course we want to move as expeditiously through these lawsuits as possible," Bradford said. "I think this is the fourth, the defamation suit has been dismissed. We're moving through the procedures and the mechanisms and the legal avenues right now, but again we want to save the tax payers dollars as much as we possibly can."

When asked if he thought there was any truth to the plaintiffs' claims, Bradford says the city will look to continue to follow proper billing procedure.

"I think that the city has stated its defense and has stated that's its position is that we have done all that we can to protect the interest of the citizens. We are diligent in how we are administering our rules and regulations as well as our ordinances," said Bradford.

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