On June 6, 2022, Carmen Maldonado Gonzalez, the Municipality of Morovis, Genoveva López, Justiniano Calderón, Sherley Soto, Aurea Castellano, Sonia Otero, Miguel A. Sepúlveda, Pablo Rivera Burgos, on their behalf and on behalf of other similarly situated, residential and commercial subscribers of the Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewer Authority (“PRASA”), who reside or do business in the Municipality of Morovis (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), represented by Andres C. Gorbea-Del Valle of Andres Gorbea Law Office, filed a class-action lawsuit against Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewer Authority (“PRASA”). Doriel Pagan Crespo, Jose A. Rivera Ortiz, and Insurance Company ABC (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking injunctive and declaratory relief, together with compensatory and punitive damages for an alleged pattern of unconstitutional deprivation of water service, to which they have been subjected since 2017, in violation of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, with Judge Raul M. Arias-Marxuach presiding.
Plaintiffs bring this suit as a class action under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(b) and (c), on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated residential and commercial subscribers of PRASA who reside or do business in the Municipality of Morovis.
In their complaint, the plaintiffs claimed, “From January 2017 to the present, co-Plaintiff, the Municipality of Morovis, has spent more than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) hiring and purchasing cistern trucks to distribute water to its residents, purchasing water tanks to provide its residents, paying its employees to work on distributing water to the Municipality’s residents, and hiring experts to analyze and advise on how to solve the water service problem in the Municipality of Morovis, among other expenses related to the lack of water service.”
The plaintiffs alleged, “The reasons or excuses provided by PRASA to justify the lack of water service in Morovis are many. These include, but are not limited to, events of heavy rainfalls, blocked water intakes, high turbidity of water, broken water lines, mechanical failures and power outages. Every day there is an excuse.”
The plaintiffs also alleged, “PRASA has also deliberately failed to reasonably adjust the water service invoices of all Plaintiffs and of all its subscribers in the Municipality of Morovis, despite the fact that most of the time there is no water service. Thus, PRASA has unjustly enriched itself at the expense of its residential, governmental and commercial subscribers of the Municipality of Morovis.”
The plaintiffs additionally alleged, “PRASA’s failure to resolve the continuous problem of lack of water in the Municipality of Morovis “shocks the conscience” considering that (1) most of the time there is no water in the Municipality of Morovis, (2) water is an essential element of life, health, well-being, sanitation, etc., and (3) some members of Plaintiffs’ class are people of old age, with diseases, and some have children.”
Plaintiffs presented three claims, including claims for their alleged suffering when they did not have a sufficient water supply, alleged violations of substantive due process, and damages due to the allegedly unconstitutional deprivation of property, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S Constitution.
In the prayer for relief, the plaintiffs requested a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. The plaintiffs also requested a judgment declaring that the defendants’ failure to provide water service to Plaintiffs, the class members, and that Section 4(c) of PRASA's Enabling Act (Law 40-1945) violated Plaintiffs’ substantive due process and equal protection rights. The plaintiffs additionally requested an award of compensation for damages and losses suffered as a result of the lack of water service, at a rate of $1,000 per day without water, per Plaintiff and/or class member, punitive damages, class attorney’s reasonable fees, costs, and expenses incurred in prosecuting the action.
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Pending - Other Pending
Civil Right - Other Civil Right
Raul M. Arias-Marxuach
Municipality of Morovis
Miguel A. Sepulveda
Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority
Jos A. Rivera-Ortiz
Insurance Company ABC
Andres C. Gorbea-Del Valle
Attorney at Andres Gorbea Law Office
157 Luna St.
San Juan, PR 00901
Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet
Category Sheet Category Sheet
Exhibit PRASA's Press Releases
Exhibit News Publications 1
Exhibit News Publications 2
Exhibit News Publications 3
(#3) MOTION for Leave to File Spanish language documents Exhibits of Verified Complaint, MOTION for Extension of Time until Tuesday, June 7, 2022 to file certified English translations of Exhibits of Verified Complaint filed by Andres C. Gorbea-Del Valle on behalf of All Plaintiffs Responses due by 6/17/2022. NOTE: Pursuant to FRCP 6(a) an additional three days does not apply to service done electronically. (Gorbea-Del Valle, Andres) (Entered: 06/03/2022)
Docket(#3) MOTION for Leave to File Spanish language documents Exhibits of Verified Complaint, MOTION for Extension of Time until Tuesday, June 7, 2022 to file certified English translations of Exhibits of Verified Complaint filed by Andres C. Gorbea-Del Valle on behalf of All Plaintiffs Responses due by 6/17/2022. NOTE: Pursuant to FRCP 6(a) an additional three days does not apply to service done electronically. (Gorbea-Del Valle, Andres) (Entered: 06/03/2022)Read MoreRead Less
Docket(#2) NOTICE OF JUDGE ASSIGNMENT Case has been assigned to Judge Raul M. Arias-Marxuach (arg) (Entered: 06/03/2022)Read MoreRead Less
Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against All Defendants ( Filing fee $402 receipt number APRDC-7779476.), filed by Aurea Castellano, Genoveva Lopez, Sonia Otero, Pablo Rivera-Burgos, Municipality of Morovis, Miguel A. Sepulveda, Justiniano Calderon, Carmen Maldonado-Gonzalez, Sherley Soto. Service due by 8/31/2022, (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Category Sheet Category Sheet, #3 Exhibit PRASA's Press Releases, #4 Exhibit News Publications 1, #5 Exhibit News Publications 2, #6 Exhibit News Publications 3)(Gorbea-Del Valle, Andres) (Entered: 06/02/2022)Read MoreRead Less
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