Attorneys in civil lawsuit tour water plant

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 2, 1999

FERRIDAY, La. — Attorneys for a Ferriday resident and business owner who sued the town and its engineers over water problems went on a fact-finding mission Thursday morning at the town’s water plant.

Lawyers for plaintiff Gloria Martello, who filed the lawsuit Oct. 25 in Seventh Judicial District Court, said the two-hour inspection was necessary to help build their case.

&uot;We’re here to get background on how the plant works — or, was intended to work,&uot;&160;lawyer Linda Harang of New Orleans said.

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&uot;We’ll see the layout of the plant and look for any repairs or modifications.&uot;

In a suit filed against the Town of Ferriday and engineering firm Owen and White, Martello said Ferriday’s ongoing water problems caused stress and inconvenience for the more than 4,000 residents and businesses it supplies with water.

The Town of Ferriday has been under a boil-water notice for more than 100 days after the state health department determined the malfunctioning plant to be a safety hazard.

Those inspecting the plant and the nearby structure that draws water from Old River included Harang, Chuck Norris of Vidalia and John Hammons of Shreveport, La., Martello’s attorneys; and an engineering professor hired to accompany them, Dixie Griffin of Louisiana Tech.

Others included Rhett Powell, hired to photograph and videotape the plant for Martello’s attorneys; Randall Keiser of Alexandria, La., an attorney hired by the town’s insurance company to represent the town; Mayor Odeal Montgomery; Councilman Sammy Davis Jr.; and Police Chief Eddie Newman.

The media was not allowed to accompany the group during its inspection.