Cities have a responsibility to providing clean and safe water to their residents. Imagine the shock and dismay that the residents of Compton, California felt when they turned on their faucets to find dirty water with a red tint flowing from them. This water certainly isn’t safe for drinking, hence the lawsuit against the city for the major health hazard.
Class Action Lawsuit
Over 6,000 residents of Compton have pulled together to file a class action lawsuit against the Sativa Los Angeles County Water District. The lawsuit accuses the city authority of misappropriating taxpayer dollars as well as causing low-income residents of the city to suffer a financial burden.
The residents claim that this dirty water has been flowing through their faucets for months. As a result, residents have been forced to purchase bottled water to cook, drink and bathe as the city water was declared unsafe for domestic use. The residents are suing for reimbursement of water bills as well as damages resulting from having to purchase water.
The water company has not denied its role in the disaster. The company admitted that the red discoloration of the water was a result of high magnesium levels. This high magnesium levels was caused by the 70-year old pipes used to supply water to residents in the city.
While the company admits responsibility for the dirty water, it claims that it does not have the finances required to replace the pipes. According to the company, it would take between $10 and $15 million to upgrade the infrastructure.
Following the filing of the lawsuit, the state commission voted for the dissolution of Sativa. The commission proposed that another county take over the supply of water to the residents in the city. This isn’t something new. There has been pressure on the State commission from the residents for years to have another company take over the supply of water. This lawsuit was the kick the commission needed to finally make the decision.
However, now that Sativa will be dissolved, what will happen to the class action lawsuit? Will the residents of the city be able to get compensation for their damages?