In August 2022, the O.B. Curtis Water Plant failed in Jackson, Mississippi. It plunged nearly 200,000 people in the surrounding area into a crisis with no access to running water. The attempts to repair the failed water system have not been the most effective. To make matters worse, it appears that the entire water crisis could’ve been avoided and that Jackson’s water problems had persisted for years before the crisis.
Several Jackson, Mississippi residents have taken legal action to bring a lawsuit against city officials and the engineering firms hired by the city. With tens of thousands of locals affected by the water crisis, a class action lawsuit has been proposed as well.
The four residents who have started the initial lawsuit claim that they have suffered from lead poisoning, E. coli exposure, dehydration, and various other health problems due to defects in Jackson’s water system. According to their complaint, the city’s water has been unsafe for human consumption for at least several years. One month before the water system failed as the Pearl River flooded, public officials advised Jackson residents to boil their water before use.
Additionally, the complaint alleges that the engineering firms of Siemens Corp and Trilogy Engineering Services both failed to identify and correct worsening issues with the Jackson, Mississippi water system for years. In 2010, Siemens Corp was hired by the city to install new water meters, which appear to have failed to catch water pressure and line issues. In 2015, Trilogy Engineering Services was hired to maintain and repair the water system, which does not seem to have been done correctly given that it failed catastrophically only a few years later. Mayor Chokwe Lumumba has also been named as a defendant.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of money damages to pay for losses, harm, and egregious inconvenience caused by the water shortage. It also seeks a court order to require the city and the engineering firms to repair the defective water system after years of allowing it to fall into disrepair. The class action has only been proposed recently, so there will still be much work to be done to advance it.
For more information about this situation as it unfolds, be sure to visit the blog of Kershaw Talley Barlow frequently for updates. Our law firm is a nationwide leader in class action and toxic exposure lawsuits. We have filed a complaint for the Jackson, Mississippi water crisis. Please call (916) 520-6639 now if you have been affected by the Jackson water shortage and want to know if you can pursue compensation through a lawsuit or class action against the city and other defendants.