There's a legal victory for homeowners suing S&WB over SELA drainage project

Drainage Work Lawsuit
Published: Aug. 30, 2017 at 1:05 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2017 at 6:57 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A legal win came down for hundreds of Uptown property owners who are suing the Sewerage and Water Board over the SELA drainage project. The residents say years of construction have badly damaged their homes.

275 property owners sued the S&WB over those damages. The board then sued the companies that were contracted to finish the SELA project, claiming the businesses were to blame. But attorneys representing the homeowners say a federal judge handed down a ruling Tuesday in their favor.

"What it allows us to do is move forward with the case, that's what's crucial. This case has been pending for a couple of years now, and the Sewerage and Water Board has told us we can't settle," said Joe Bruno, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Attorneys for the property owners say the ruling from the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rejects "an attempt by the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board to shift blame to private contractors."

Now, property owners are hoping the ruling clears the way for their day in court.

"The only way we are going to be able to get relief for the people is if we go to court," said Bruno.

We reached out to the city about Tuesday's ruling, but they have not returned our request for comment.

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