On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) lost its appeal to dismiss last year’s ruling from a federal judge to let Quadvest’s antitrust lawsuit case move forward.
The ruling is another huge win for Quadvest and Montgomery County utilities and municipalities, and further substantiates Quadvest’s position against SJRA and its unlawful water tax on Montgomery County residents in the ongoing water battle.
The original lawsuit, which was filed by both Quadvest and another Montgomery County private water utility company in 2019, argued that SJRA was monopolizing and fixing the price of water in Montgomery County at the cost of residents. On August 14, 2020, U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore said that the SJRA could not provide any proof that the Texas legislature authorized SJRA to violate federal antitrust laws and ruled that the lawsuit could continue.
On August 21, 2020, SJRA filed a notice to appeal the district court’s order. Almost a year later on August 3, 2021, that appeal was denied by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Quadvest has been fighting SJRA on behalf of Montgomery County utilities, municipalities, and taxpayers through multiple lawsuits for years, and this ruling really validates what we’ve been fighting for,” says Quadvest CEO Simon Sequeira. “Although the water battle isn’t over, this ruling further solidifies our confidence that SJRA will be held accountable for unfair water taxes for Montgomery County residents and that residents could see reduced water bills once a final verdict in Quadvest’s favor is reached.”