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WSHB Obtains Dismissal Of Two Massive Water Quality/Plumbing Class Actions

January 18, 2019

Following almost two years of litigation, the Fresno office of WSHB has obtained the dismissal of a firm client from two consolidated class action complaints. Both the Micheli and Flannery actions were filed in the Fresno County Superior Court and alleged that the City of Fresno and its contractors were responsible for adverse water quality throughout North East Fresno, damaging resident’s plumbing systems. The proposed class would have included tens of thousands of homes. Our client was a contractor to the City that was alleged to have contributed to corrosion by failing to follow industry standards when installing water meters in thousands of locations. Following initial discovery, WSHB filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that none of the named plaintiffs could prove that our client had performed work on their property. The proposed class representatives therefore lacked both standing and evidence of causation. The motion further argued that under the case of Baltimore Football Club, Inc. v. Superior Court (Ramco, Inc.) (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 356, 359, the named plaintiffs lacked standing to sue our client in a representative capacity.

Rather than opposing the motion for summary judgment, plaintiffs agreed to dismiss their complaints against our client. The last of the dismissals was approved this week by the Hon. Donald Black. The Micheli and Flannery complaints were filed by seven separate law firms, including some of the most prominent plaintiffs’ firms in this state – Cochette, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP and Boucher LLP. These cases were handled by WSHB-Fresno partner Patrick Schoenburg and associate Christina Vo.

 

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