DONALDSONVILLE — Many
Donaldsonville residents are not happy about the quality of water and
have filed a class action suit against Peoples Water Service.
In their suit filed March 3,
Courthouse News reported,
the petitioners claimed the water service failed to take action or
report chlorine-dioxide levels four to five times the standard in the
water supply. The petitioners alleged the water company treated its
supply with chlorine dioxide before distribution to customers.
Chlorine dioxide is known to be harmful to humans at particular
The petitioners claimed
that at about 4 p.m. March 22, 2016, the Louisiana Department of
Health notified Peoples to change treatment of drinking water because
elevated levels of chlorine dioxide were found in the treatment
system. Donaldsonville Mayor Leroy Sullivan declared a state of
emergency that night.
They also claimed the water company failed to warn petitioners and
those others of test result readings above acceptable levels from
approximately September 2015 to March 2016.
''As it stands, the water supplied by Peoples is not safe to
consume in any manner by drinking and/or cooking for use in cooking.
As a proximate result, petitioners and those others similarly
situated have been forced to use bottled water and have therefore
incurred damages in connection with obtaining water,'' the suit said.
On March 23, 2016, Peoples issued a warning
to residents: “Peoples Water is instructing its customers in
Donaldsonville to not drink their water, effective immediately until
further notice. Due to high levels of chlorine dioxide, residents
should not drink, cook or ingest their water. Please go to a local
retail/grocery store and purchase water for these purposes.’’
On March 26, 2016, the water was declared safe to drink after
tests were reportedly done at five different sample sites.
Petitioners are looking
for compensation from the following damages including “costs of and
associated with obtaining another water source, inconvenience, fear
and fright, mental anguish, discomfort, pain and suffering, emotional
distress, medical and pharmaceutical costs and any other damages to
be proven at trial.”
Listed on the petition were Horace Dorsey, Evelyn Dorsey, Brad
Dorsey, Larry Rosemond, Dionelle Dorsey, Gardenia Taylor, Sterling
Brooks, Blair Brooks, Carol Joshua, Idell Madison, Paul Madison,
Tresa Winchester, Sharon Nicholas, Gerald Nicholas, Crystal Franklin
and Malik Franklin.
Jeff Nicholson, a Baton Rouge attorney, filed the lawsuit for the