Court says Bridgeton Landfill Class Members Can Accept Odor Settlement and Still File Radiation Lawsuits, Extends Opt-in Deadline to July 18

Simmons Hanly Conroy to Host Meetings at Pattonville High School this Thursday, Friday and Saturday for Class Members to Ask Questions, Complete Settlement Paperwork

ST. LOUIS (June 17, 2014) – 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 Simmons Hanly Conroy 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.”

Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill
Bridgeton Sanitary Landfill

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 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 noon 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 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 Foerster 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 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).