Hearing in RES lawsuit focuses on class-action certification

Hearing in RES lawsuit focuses on class-action certification

Source: Joplin Globe (MO), March 2, 2011
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

Jasper County Circuit Court Judge David Dally is expected to rule in 10 days on whether or not Carthage residents can sue as a class over damages from odors allegedly coming from Renewable Environmental Solutions of Carthage.

Dally heard two hours of arguments today focusing on whether a lawsuit filed by two Carthage women would be certified as a “class action,” meaning the case also could go forward on behalf of a larger group of residents around the now-closed plant.

Rhon Jones, one of the attorneys representing Carthage residents Cynthia Sundy and Tricia Orr, is proposing the class include residential property owners who lived within three kilometers of the plant during its operation from 2003 to 2009.

He said the lawsuit is a “simple nuisance claim” on whether odors from the plant impaired owners’ use of their property.

“Class certification is just an efficient means to bring multiple common claims to trial,” he said.

Mark Anstoetter, on behalf of RES, said plaintiffs’ arguments did not meet requirements for class action status, based in part on varying responses from residents living within the boundary.

“What they have are highly individualized experiences not worthy of a class action,” he said. “They’ve offered no evidence of damages that can be provided on a class wide basis.”

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