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Plaintiffs accuse the City of Shreveport of overbilling customers for water.

"Stay tuned."

That's the word from the plaintiffs' attorney to everyone who has been on the City of Shreveport Water & Sewerage system since 2007.

Caddo District Judge Mike Pitman has ruled that those customers can be certified in a class action lawsuit that accuses the city of overbilling.

The judge may decide the case on October 14. Should he rule against the city, it could affect about 66,000 residential customers.

Plaintiffs' attorney Jerry Harper tells KTBS 3 News, that could expose the city to about $10 million in liability, and possibly $20 million. He says it's hard to know how much customers could recover. Harper says he's had difficulty getting data from the city during the course of the lawsuit.

So what should customers do?

"Just wait for the ruling," Harper says. "If the judge rules in favor of customers, then notices will be sent out. And at that time they can decide whether to participate or opt out."

Harper also says the judge gave the city 30 days to find justification in its ordinance for the practice of rounding up on its water and sewer billing. Harper says that began when the city switched to a software billing program in 2007.

The attorney representing the City of Shreveport in the class action suit, Edwin Byrd, says he's seeking to have all claims dismissed. 

The City of Shreveport, under then-Mayor Ollie Tyler filed a lawsuit against the software company, Systems & Software, which the city blames for computerized billing problems. That suit is still pending.

Earlier this summer, the city started using cell phone technology for meter readers to try to eliminate billing errors. That initiative also began under the Tyler administration.


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