New lawsuit filed for homeowners victimized by flood water after GLWA pump stations failed 3 years ago

Tuesday marks three years since parts of Wayne County were devastated by widespread flooding, leaving areas of Dearborn Detroit and Grosse Pointe underwater.

Those living in the hardest hit areas are still seeking accountability from officials they say are responsible. The Great Lakes Water Authority said that power failures caused operational issues at the Freud and Conner Creek pumping stations.

Attorney Paul Doherty is an attorney who represents about 1,000 homeowners in Grosse Pointe and Detroit who not only had their basements underwater,  but their whole houses flooded.

That case was thrown out of court by the judge due to governmental immunity.

"It was the judge - without doing any discovery, no depositions, just said 'Hey too much rain, you have no claim.'" Doherty said. "We're opposing that, we're in the Court of Appeals, it's getting ready to be argued soon."

But on Tuesday Doherty said there is new litigation in the works.

"Today we filed another lawsuit adding 200 people," he said. "Technically the statute of limitations runs out tomorrow, we wanted to make sure everybody was protected. So anybody who contacted our office since that original filing has been added into this lawsuit along with our class action request."

FOX 2: "If the judge threw the other case out because of governmental immunity, won't (that happen) with this case too?"

"They might be," he said. "But with all due respect, she made a mistake. So we want to make sure when the case comes back, we've got everybody in the case and protected."

There is an exception under governmental immunity for water damages which in this case, would relate to the failed pumps.

"Precisely this case," Doherty said. "If there is a failed pump, a defect in the system, and it causes your damage, you have a right independant of governmental immunity, to sue Great Lakes Water Authority, Detroit Water and Sewerage - that's an exception. We pled the case under that exception - the judge disagreed."

More coverage:

Lawsuit battle over heavy flooding from June, 2021 against DWSD and GLWA continues

Grosse Pointe residents vent flooding frustration at town hall

FOX 2: "But if it's an act of God, is there no case?"

"Rain is always an act of God, okay?" he said. " You're not going to have a sewer backup without God acting to cause the rain. So it's designed to protect that situation."