Litigation

March 7, 2011

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.”…

August 16, 2010

Class Action Lawsuit for UST Leak of MTBE into Potable Well

Acknowledgement to XL Environmental

THE CLAIM
An XL insured, a gas station, was contacted by the county health department following an odor/taste complaint by a customer who had purchased a beverage from the store. The insured’s potable well was tested, revealing methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) in concentrations that were twice the state actionable level.

Investigation by the county health department linked the MTBE to a leak from the piping/dispenser system associated with underground storage tanks. A class action lawsuit was filed against the insured by local residents for a mix of claims including property damage, bodily injury and fear of injury.

THE RESPONSE
XL’s environmental claims counsel retained local defense counsel to represent and defend our insured’s interests. An experienced, local remediation consultant was also retained on the insured’s behalf to design a remediation system.

THE SOLUTION
A remediation technology was selected and implemented. A settlement was reached with respect to the class action litigation whereby certain residents’ homes were purchased, others received dollar settlement amounts and others received a settlement including medical monitoring costs.

The insured’s Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy paid $1,200,000 to resolve the class action lawsuit on the insured’s behalf and remediate the insured’s property.…

August 13, 2010

Waste Facility Allegedly Caused Contamination

Acknowledgement to XL Environmental

THE CLAIM
A class action lawsuit from 68 claimants was filed against an XL insured waste facility alleging that the insured contributed to contamination (oil residue, biocides, acids, mercury, lead, diesel fuels, metals, radioactive materials and hydrocarbons) at a waste disposal pit owned by the insured. The class action alleged that contamination from the site emanated onto the claimants’ properties, contaminating their homes, crops, livestock and personal property.

THE RESPONSE
XL’s environmental claims counsel worked with the insured to formulate a defense to the allegations and investigate the claims made. XL retained local defense counsel to defend the insured’s interests with respect to the lawsuit filed.

THE SOLUTION
XL’s claims counsel and defense counsel worked collaboratively with the insured through the discovery phase of the litigation. Approximately a year after filing the class action lawsuit, the claimants and their counsel voluntarily dismissed the action for lack of evidence against the insured. XL paid for the insured’s defense counsel fees and costs in the amount of $75,000 under the insured’s Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy.…

July 12, 2010

Residents Sue Over Chemical Spill

Three residents of a Louisville, Kentucky neighborhood recently sued when a chemical spill caused vapors to travel through sewer pipes. The claimants are seeking class action status, which would cover anyone in a 1.6 mile area near the plant. At the time of the incident, it was estimated that up to 50 homes were affected by the vapors.  (Source: www.insurancejournal.com)

If the chemical company had a PLL Policy in place, it could be afforded coverage for third party bodily injury or property damage claims and associated legal defense resulting from the chemical spill and associated vapors.…