Sides file briefs in Ferriday water case

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 2, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Both sides filed briefs Friday in a case seeking to create a class-action lawsuit over Ferriday’s water quality.

Ferriday resident and restaurant-owner Gloria Martello filed suit Oct. 25, 1999, against Ferriday and engineers Owen and White. U.S. Filter, maker of Ferriday’s water plant, was later added as a defendant.

If her suit is class certified, as she is seeking, every Ferriday water customer could join the suit and would be entitled to a portion of any damages awarded.

A five-day hearing was held starting April 30 in Seventh Judicial District Court to decide whether the lawsuit would be class certified.

Johnson said at that time she would render a judgment on class certification after reviewing briefs submitted by both sides. But as of Friday afternoon, it was not known when Johnson would make her decision.

In briefs submitted Friday Martello, the Town of Ferriday and Owen and White summarized the arguments they had made in court and in previously filed motions.

Among other things, defendants said they believe class certification is not necessary because Martello does not represent the average water customer.

Martello has charged that a 124-day boil water notice in effect for the town in late 1999 caused water customers stress and inconvenience.

Defendant U.S. Filter had not filed a brief as of late Friday afternoon.