At 1:30 the Mississippi Supreme Court will hear the case of Groundworx LLC v. Thomas Blanton and the City of Hattiesburg.
Hattiesburg’s wastewater treatment system has been in violation of the federal laws and pollution standards incorporated in its federal operations permit since 2010. In 2014, in an effort to fix the situation, Groundworx, LLC and the City of Hattiesburg, Mississippi entered into an Agreement for Groundworx to construct and operate a land-application system for treatment of wastewater. The Agreement contained a provision allowing either side to terminate if Groundworx did not close financing by June 2014. Groundworx did not close financing by the required date, and Hattiesburg terminated the Agreement. Groundworx then filed suit against the City. A Hattiesburg resident named Thomas A. Blanton moved to intervene and dismiss the case on the grounds that the agreement was unconstitutional since it called for the City to lend its credit in aid of a private business. The chancellor granted Blanton’s motion and dismissed all of Groundworx’s claims against the City.
Groundworks argues that Blanton lacked standing to challenge Groundworks’ lawsuit. The City argues that while the Court dismissed the case based on Blanton’s claims, the suit should have been dismissed because the City was within it rights to terminate the contract when Groundworx failed to obtain financing.
Watch the argument here.