Judge dismisses $30M tribal lawsuit against highway agency

March 29, 2022 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A judge has dismissed the Narragansett Tribe’s $30 million lawsuit against the Federal Highway Administration and the state of Rhode Island over a yearslong dispute, claiming that the agency damaged historic archeological sites during the construction of Route 95 in Providence.

The March 15 decision ruled that the tribe did not show enough evidence to prove that the federal agency’s actions violated the National Historic Preservation Act and resulted in the loss of tribal property, The Providence Journal reported Tuesday.

Judge Rudolph Contreras said the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had no jurisdiction to hear its complaints against the Federal Highway Administration and the state.

But Contreras wrote that there is a possibility that the tribe could still have the standing to sue the Federal Highway Administration.

The tribe’s attorney, Liz Walker, said the tribe will file a new complaint with better arguments addressing the question of legal standing.