MSD lawsuit
3:05 pm
Tue April 19, 2011

Class-action suit over 2008 floods in U-City can go forward

View University City Flood Damage in a larger map

A Missouri appeals court has ruled that  a class-action lawsuit stemming from 2008 flash floods that killed two people and severely damaged more than 100 houses in University City can go forward.

The lawsuit alleges that the Metropolitan Sewer District's failure to maintain the River Des Peres  made it impossible for the system to handle what amounted to predictable heavy rain. The floods were the result of the remnants of Hurricane Ike.

MSD moved for summary judgment, saying it was immune from prosecution because the defendants could not prove that the agency had done something to create unsafe conditions.  MSD has argued all along that the no system could handle the seven inches or more of rain that fell in a short time period. The trial court agreed with MSD, but the appellate court overturned the ruling.

A spokesman for MSD says the agency looks forward to a full airing of the facts.  MSD also faces a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the sister of a woman who was swept away when she went to move her car.