Legal Questions In Des Moines Waterworks Lawsuit Against Three NW Iowa Counties Heads To Iowa Supreme Court

Wed 1-13-2016 []

Des Moines, Iowa (AP) - A Federal Judge say the Iowa Supreme Court should settle legal question about whether farmland drainage districts can be held liable for water pollution downstream before a lawsuit filed by a Des Moines Water Utility can proceed. Questions such as immunity for drainage districts and which constitutional protections might apply to parties challenging drainage systems have not been decided by State or Federal courts in Iowa.

The drainage districts have been around since the late 1800s.

Judge Mark Bennett said the novel legal issues deserve the attention of the state's highest court.

The decision comes in the lawsuit that Des Moines Water filed last year against three Northwest Iowa counties that oversee 10 agriculture drainage districts.

Farm Drainage District attorneys say Iowa's Constitution has long protected them from legal liability.