Le Lézard
Classified in: Oil industry
Subject: LAW

Milberg Helps Reach Groundbreaking Settlement in Kingston Coal Ash Lawsuits

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., May 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Workers sickened during the cleanup of the catastrophic 2008 coal ash spill in East Tennessee have reached a confidential settlement with Jacobs Solutions, bringing an end to more than 10 years of litigation and 300 lawsuits.

Workers sickened during the cleanup of the catastrophic 2008 coal ash spill in Kingston, TN have reached a settlement.

Greg Coleman, Milberg Senior Partner and lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a joint statement with Jacobs Solutions that, "After years of litigation and lengthy negotiations, the parties have entered into a confidential settlement agreement which will resolve all of the cases."

Mr. Coleman recognized the efforts of Milberg coal ash team members Billy Ringger, Mark Silvey, Adam Edwards, Will Ladnier, Alex Honeycutt, Ginny Whitener, Alex Straus, Jonathan Cohen, Kelsey Davies, Nita Gorman, Dawn Holt, Jackie Frasure, and Celia Hastings in the precedent-setting cases, which claimed that workers developed health problems caused by a coal ash spill at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston plant in Harriman, Tennessee.

After the spill on December 22, 2008, TVA hired Jacobs to assist with the six-year cleanup project. Jacobs was responsible for sitewide safety and health. At least 50 of the 900 cleanup workers have died and many are sick.

Beginning in 2013, workers began filing lawsuits against Jacobs alleging personal injuries from exposure to fly ash at the spill site. More than 200 workers and 100 workers' spouses filed claims.

In 2018, a federal jury ruled that Jacobs breached its contract with TVA and its duty to protect the cleanup workers from known carcinogens in the fly ash. That verdict linked the workers' exposure to 10 health conditions?including lung cancer, skin cancer, leukemia, pulmonary disease, and respiratory conditions?and set the stage for them to seek monetary damages.

On two occasions, Jacobs asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to grant it immunity from being sued because it was a TVA contractor. Both times, the court rejected the contractor's immunity arguments. Although TVA, a quasi-government organization, was not named as a defendant in the Kingston coal ash lawsuits, the Court's second ruling on the matter also raises the possibility that TVA could face similar lawsuits in the future.

"We made law twice in the 6th Circuit," said Mr. Coleman. "Not only was a general causation verdict won but now, TVA and any entity that produces coal ash and manages it are open to claims, whereas prior to this case, there was no chance of that happening."

In the firm's proud tradition of effectuating meaningful change through the courts, Milberg's Environmental and Toxic Torts Litigation group has helped thousands of individuals and businesses negatively affected by man-made disasters, both in the United States and abroad, including the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Huntington Beach oil spill, the Eastman Chemical Company steam pipe explosion, and Brazil's Samarco dam disaster.

About Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, PLLC:

Since 1965, Milberg has recovered over $50 billion for our clients, set groundbreaking legal precedents, and prompted meaningful changes in corporate governance. The firm has a long history of standing up to corporations on behalf of workers, including cases against Fortune 500 companies.

Media Contact:
Karine Lim
[email protected]

SOURCE Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman PLLC

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