Breaking News: Judge Gives Initial Ruling in Favor of Expo
I just got off the phone from the courthouse in Norwalk and the news is good for supporters of Phase II of the Expo Line, although the case brought by Neighbors for Smart Rail was not completely dismissed by the judge.
Judge Thomas McKnew gave an initial ruling to dismiss the lawsuit brought by NFSR, but then John Bowman, representing the plaintiffs argued that the traffic figures used in the environmental documents was flawed because it should address the current traffic patterns and not just the ones predicted for 2030. Attorneys for the Expo Construction Authority declined to ask for more time to file briefs, instead opting for a quicker decision by the judge.
What this means is that while it’s possible McKnew will change his mind, his preliminary research favors Expo’s argument that their environmental studies are adequate to begin construction.
A final ruling that would dismiss the case or allow it to go to trial is expected in January of February. While it’s probable that NFSR will appeal. However, unless they get an order staying construction while the trial moves forward, they could end up litigating against a rail line that’s already being built.