Federal judge dismisses final claim in SOV lawsuit

Publish Date

U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein has dismissed the final claims in the lawsuit filed by "Save Our Valley" (SOV) against Sound Transit's Link light rail project. Judge Rothstein's ruling "with prejudice" precludes SOV from bringing the same claims against Sound Transit in the future.

"We are very pleased by Judge Rothstein's ruling," said Sound Transit Executive Director Joni Earl. "This further validates the quality of the work done by Sound Transit staff and increases the momentum for getting started on this critical portion of our integrated transit network."

SOV's lawsuit was based upon allegations that Sound Transit violated federal environmental, housing, and civil rights laws in its planning and design of a light rail line in the Rainier Valley. In July, Judge Rothstein dismissed most of the SOV lawsuit with the exception of the claim that Sound Transit had intentionally discriminated against the Rainier Valley community, which has a high proportion of minority and low-income residents. That issue was scheduled to go to trial this month.

Last week the Sound Transit Board of Directors approved a motion that identifies an initial segment for starting construction of the Central Link light rail line. The segment will run from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac Airport.

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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.