This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 09/21/2022 at 05:47:46 (UTC).

Sterling et al v. The City of Jackson, Mississippi et al

Case Summary

On September 16, 2022, Priscilla Sterling, Raine Becker, Shawn Miller, and John Bennett, (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, represented by Robert L. Gibbs of Gibbs Travis PLLC, filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Jackson, Mississippi, Chokwe A. Lumumba, Tony Yarber, Kishia Powell, Jerriot Smash, Robert Miller,  Siemens Corporation and Siemens Industry, Inc (collectively, “Siemens”), Trilogy Engineering Services LLC, (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking injunctive relief and damages for Defendant’s alleged negligence and violation of U.S. Constitution. This case was filed by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, with Judges Kristi H. Johnson and Michael T. Parker presiding. 

Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and a Jackson Resident Class (collectively, "the Class"), pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.

In the complaint, Plaintiffs stated, “Priscilla Sterling, Raine Becker, Shawn Miller, and John Bennett have at all relevant times been residents of Jackson, Mississippi and citizens of the State of Mississippi and/or regularly consumed drinking water provided by Jackson. Plaintiffs have suffered personal injuries as a result of exposure to and consumption of Jackson’s drinking water at a time when lead levels in the water made it unsafe to drink or be exposed to.”

Plaintiffs alleged, “Access to clean, poison-free water is a fundamental human right. The City of Jackson’s water supply has been neglected for decades, culminating in its complete shutdown in August 2022, leaving over 150,000 residents, 82.5% of whom are Black and over 24% are living in poverty, without access to running water.”

Plaintiffs further alleged, “These residents lack more than just drinking water, or water for making powdered baby formula, cooking, showering, or laundry. During the long period where the city pipes had no water pressure and were unable to facilitate the flow of water, residents of Jackson could not flush their toilets for days at a time.”

Plaintiffs also alleged, “Yet, even before the water supply failed, Jackson’s water supply was not fit for human consumption due to the high levels of lead and other contaminants, in violation of Plaintiffs’ right to bodily integrity protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Lead and Copper Rule, and other law.”

Plaintiffs then alleged, “Children, comprising a quarter of Jackson’s residents, are especially susceptible to the devastating and life-long damages of lead poisoning. This public health crisis, decades in the making, was wholly foreseeable by Defendants’ actions and has left Jackson residents in an untenable position without access to clean, safe water in 2022 in a major United States city.”

Plaintiffs also alleged, “Priscilla Sterling, Raine Becker, Shawn Miller, and John Bennett were poisoned by lead and other contaminants released into Jackson’s drinking water as a result of Defendants’ conscience-shocking conduct and deliberate indifference.”

Plaintiffs listed six claims for relief, including the Defendant’s alleged violation of Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and professional negligence. 

In the prayer for relief, Plaintiffs requested a judgement granting injunctive relief to remediate the harm caused by lack of access to safe water. Plaintiffs also requested an award for compensatory, economic, non-economic, punitive and exemplary damages along with prejudgement and post-judgement interest. 

This is a summary of a legal complaint. All statements, claims, and allegations listed herein reflect the position of the plaintiff only and do not represent the position of UniCourt. Additionally, this case summary may not reflect the current position of the parties to this litigation or the current status of this case. To view the latest case updates and court documents, please sign up for a UniCourt account.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    3:22-CV-00531

  • Filing Date:

    09/16/2022

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Civil Right - Other Civil Right

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Kristi H. Johnson

Referral Judge

Michael T. Parker

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

Priscilla Sterling

Raine Becker

Shawn Miller

John Bennett

Defendants

The City of Jackson, Mississippi

Chokwe A. Lumumba

Tony Yarber

Kishia Powell

Robert Miller

Jerriot Smash

Siemens Corporation

Siemens Industry, Inc.

Trilogy Engineering Services LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Robert L. Gibbs

Attorney at GIBBS TRAVIS PLLC

210 E. Capitol Street, Suite 1810

Jackson, MS 39201

 

Court Documents

1 #1

Main Document

1 #1

Exhibit 1- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, NEIC Civil Investigati

1 #2

Exhibit 2- Press Release, City of Jackson (July 18, 2018)

1 #3

Exhibit 3- Compliance Plan for City of Jackson (MS0250008)

1 #4

Exhibit 4- City of Jackson, Consumer Notice Regarding Your Drinking Water

1 #5

Exhibit 5- Letter from Carol Kemker, Director, EPA Region 4 Enforcement and Comp

1 #6

Exhibit 6- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Civil Enforcement Case Report,

1 #7

Exhibit 7- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, NEIC Civil Investigati

1 #8

Civil Cover Sheet

#2

(#2) Summons Issued as to Chokwe A. Lumumba, Robert Miller, Kishia Powell, Siemens Corporation, Siemens Industry, Inc., Jerriot Smash, The City of Jackson, Mississippi, Trilogy Engineering Services LLC, Tony Yarber. (LAT) (Entered: 09/19/2022)

 

Docket Entries

  • 09/19/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#2) Summons Issued as to Chokwe A. Lumumba, Robert Miller, Kishia Powell, Siemens Corporation, Siemens Industry, Inc., Jerriot Smash, The City of Jackson, Mississippi, Trilogy Engineering Services LLC, Tony Yarber. (LAT) (Entered: 09/19/2022)

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  • 09/16/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND MONEY DAMAGES WITH JURY TRIAL DEMAND against Chokwe A. Lumumba, Robert Miller, Kishia Powell, Siemens Corporation, Siemens Industry, Inc., Jerriot Smash, The City of Jackson, Mississippi, Trilogy Engineering Services LLC, Tony Yarber ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number BMSSDC-4936574), filed by Raine Becker, John Bennett, Priscilla Sterling, Shawn Miller. (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, NEIC Civil Investigation Report, Case Number: EICVP1369E01 (March 30, 2020), #2 Exhibit 2- Press Release, City of Jackson (July 18, 2018), #3 Exhibit 3- Compliance Plan for City of Jackson (MS0250008), #4 Exhibit 4- City of Jackson, Consumer Notice Regarding Your Drinking Water, #5 Exhibit 5- Letter from Carol Kemker, Director, EPA Region 4 Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Div., to the Hon. Chokwe A. Lumumba, Mayor of the City of Jackson re Notice of Noncompliance (Apr. 27, 2021), #6 Exhibit 6- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Civil Enforcement Case Report, Case Number: 04-2020-2300 (March 27, 2020), https://echo.epa.gov/enforcement-case-report?id=04-2020-2300, #7 Exhibit 7- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, NEIC Civil Investigation Report, Case Number: EICVP1369E01 (March 30, 2020), #8 Civil Cover Sheet)(LAT) (Main Document 1 replaced on 9/19/2022) (LAT). (Entered: 09/19/2022)

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