ST. LOUIS, June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal judge approved a clarification last week for Bridgeton residents involved in the lawsuit against Bridgeton Landfill owners over noxious odors, saying that neighbors of the landfill may receive a settlement related to the odors without losing their right to file separate claims alleging radiation exposure in the future. The judge also extended the opt-in deadline to July 18 to give residents more time to review the new Addendum, according to the court order.
This is a positive development and a win for class members, said Ted Gianaris, an attorney at the Simmons Law Firm and class counsel for the case. According to the order, the court has determined, "it is more favorable to the members of the Settlement Class."
Residents who are class members should expect to receive a document titled "Optional Addendum to Claim Form" that outlines the clarification in the mail this week, said Gianaris.
In addition, the Simmons Firm will host three meetings for class members only this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Pattonville High School. During the meetings, residents may complete the Addendum and Claim Form and Release in-person and ask questions about the case.
"The judge's order provides a welcomed clarification for our clients and allows them more time to make a decision," Gianaris said. "All class members, even those who may have previously opted-out or objected to the lawsuit, may still participate in the settlement."
The release now addresses potential personal injury and property damage radiation claims, stating, "This Settlement Agreement and Release does not affect any past, present or future claims for physical injuries, diseases or medical conditions resulting from radioactive emissions or death resulting therefrom. This release shall not bar property owners from recovering for actual physical radionuclide contamination of real property sufficient to permit recovery under the Price Anderson Act as is purportedly alleged in John James v. Bridgeton Landfill, LLC et al., Case No. 4:14-cv-00729-ERW in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, but nothing in this sentence authorizes a recovery for stigma, reduction of property value or fear of property damage in the absence of actual physical radionuclide contamination of real property sufficient to permit recovery under the Price Anderson Act."
"With this new clarification from the Court, we want to give everyone the opportunity to consider the settlement with fresh eyes before July 18," Gianaris said.
The informational meetings for class members to ask questions and complete all necessary paperwork will take place from 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday at the Pattonville High School cafeteria in Maryland Heights, Mo. The meeting is for class members only.
The class action lawsuit was filed last March in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Missouri by the Simmons Firm on behalf of more than 600 residents impacted by the putrid smells in the neighborhoods of Spanish Village Subdivision, Terrisan Reste Mobile Park, Gallatin Ave Condominiums and homes on Foster Road in Bridgeton, Mo.
Residents who participate in the settlement are expected to receive cash settlements totaling several thousands of dollars, depending on specific criteria related to their individual circumstances. The landfill will also pay the residents' legal fees and expenses. The grand total of the settlement is $6.8 million.
"The addendum gives class members the assurance they deserve," Gianaris said. "If folks are sick or lose value due to radiation contamination, their legal rights will still be intact."
The case name and number is Buck et. al. v. Republic Services, Inc., et al. No. 4:13-CV-00801 TCM (E.D. Mo. Apr. 2014).
About Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC
Headquartered in Alton, Ill., with offices in St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Simmons Firm is a leading national law firm in complex litigation matters and has represented thousands of clients throughout the country on issues involving toxic exposure, consumer rights and public safety. The firm is dedicated to its clients and has pledged nearly $20 million to cancer research. For more information, visit http://www.simmonsfirm.com.
Contact: Mark Motley
Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC
SOURCE Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC