Judge calls lawsuit ‘moot,’ so parents file new one

Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Christopher Barry-Smith on Tuesday squashed a class-action lawsuit sought by three Newton families against the Newton Teachers Association and its leadership.

Parents Lital Asher-Dotan and Dmitriy Sokolovskiy filed a motion for Judge Barry-Smith to intervene and include students and their families as victims when determining damages the NTA was ordered to pay the school district.

The judge referred to the plaintiffs’ motion as “moot” since the strike case is closed.

But it’s not over.

The parents announced Tuesday night that they had filed a new class-action lawsuit against the NTA, its leadership, and the Massachusetts Teachers Association following the judge’s ruling.

Moot, the statement reads, means “potentially debatable issue, but no longer practically applicable as the case is not ‘live.’”

Newton teachers were on strike for two weeks until Feb. 2, when a contract deal was reached after 16 months of stalled negotiations.

“First, let’s be clear: the Newton Teachers Association broke the law,” the statement from the parents reads. “Judge Barry-Smith has now issued a final judgment to that effect. And he has charged the union $625,000 in fines. But those fines to the state and school committee do not begin to address the tremendous damage this illegal strike did to Newton as a community, and especially to our children.”

The statement estimates that “damages to the students and parents as a class will easily exceed $25 million.”