PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement is being issued by Berger & Montague, P.C., regarding the Rocky Flats class action settlement.
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A $375 million Settlement has been proposed in a lawsuit against the former operators of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. The lawsuit claims that Rockwell International Corp. and The Dow Chemical Co. caused the properties owned by the Class Representatives and the other Class Members in the Property Class Area (see map at www.RockyFlatsSettlement.com) to be contaminated with plutonium, a hazardous radioactive substance, which caused the properties' values to be less than they otherwise would have been and which substantially interfered with Class Members' use and enjoyment of their property. The case is Cook et al. v. Rockwell International Corp. and The Dow Chemical Co., Civil Action No. 90-00181-JLK (D. Colo.). The parties have agreed to settle to avoid additional delay and uncertainty in a case that already is over 26 years old but, before any money is paid, the proposed settlement must be approved by the Court.
Who is a Class Member?
The Property Class (or "Class") includes all persons and entities that owned an interest (other than mortgagee and other security interests) in real property within the Property Class Area on June 7, 1989 (one day after a famous FBI raid of the plant site). If you are an heir of someone (or the successor of an entity) who owned property on June 7, 1989 in the Property Class Area, you may also file a claim.
What Does the Settlement Provide?
Defendants will pay $375 million (the "Settlement Fund") to pay Class Members and to pay attorneys' fees (not to exceed 40% of the Settlement Fund) and costs and expenses. Also, Class Counsel will ask for service awards totaling $780,000 to the Class Representatives for their efforts during over 26 years of litigation. Additionally, the Settlement Fund will pay for the costs of Notice and settlement administration. The remainder (the "Net Settlement Fund") will be divided among Class Members.
What are my options?
To get a share of the Net Settlement Fund, you must file a claim by June 1, 2017. Payments will be calculated as a percentage of the Net Settlement Fund based on the value of the property owned and located within the Class Area as of June 7, 1989. You may opt out of the Class and Settlement by March 1, 2017. If you opt out you will not receive any money if the Settlement is approved, but you retain your right to pursue your own lawsuit with your own lawyer. Your own lawyer can advise you about whether your claims may be barred by the statute of limitations. If you do not opt out, you can object to any part of the Settlement on or before March 1, 2017. If you do not opt out, you will remain in the Class and be bound by the terms of the Settlement.
A public hearing will be held on April 28, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. MDT, in Courtroom A802 at the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Alfred A. Arraj United States Courthouse, 901 19th Street, Denver, CO 80294. The Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. If the hearing time/date changes, it will be posted at www.RockyFlatsSettlement.com. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. You or your attorney may attend the hearing at your own expense, but you don't have to.
This is a summary only. For more information, including a longer Notice, the Settlement, the claim form, the proposed Plan of Allocation, the motion for attorneys' fees, reimbursement of costs and expenses and for service awards (when filed on or before January 12, 2017), and a list of important deadlines, visit www.RockyFlatsSettlement.com or call 1-844-528-0187.
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SOURCE Berger & Montague, P.C.