A local judge has granted a stay in the case regarding a lawsuit against General Motors alleging contamination from the Milford Proving Grounds.

The lawsuit, which represents several dozen Brighton Township residents, alleges contamination of the plaintiffs’ groundwater and that GM committed fraud by concealing its knowledge of the contamination. Livingston County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hatty recently granted General Motors’ motion for a stay of trial, or temporarily halting judicial proceedings, pending a Court of Appeals order. The plaintiffs’ motion for class certification was denied without prejudice. An alternative dispute resolution hearing is set for March.

The lawsuit was initially filed in Livingston County Circuit Court, but was later moved to U.S. District Court in Detroit after GM asserted that the claims were covered under its 2009 bankruptcy. A judge last year returned the case back to the county level.

Through the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are seeking compensation for property damage and personal injury caused by GM’s alleged pollution and for the cost of obtaining drinkable water. GM maintains the suit has no merit as salt deposits naturally occur in the area, adding that salt usage at the Milford Proving Grounds has been significantly reduced. Alexander Memmen, attorney for the plaintiffs, previously told WHMI the contamination dates back to at least 1985 and GM has literally been pouring tons of salt onto its property. (DK/JM)