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Class action lawsuit says that landfill is dousing residents in stench

Readers in Las Vegas may be interested to hear about a new class action lawsuit filed on behalf of several residents of another state. The residents say that they are sick of the terrible stench emanating from an area landfill and its operators’ lack of action to control it. There have been about 3,000 complaints about the smell coming from the landfill and into nearby neighborhoods, and although only six people have signed onto the lawsuit so far, it is likely that the eligible class in this civil litigation will include many more residents.

Despite the numerous complaints, residents feel that the company that operates the landfill is ignoring the problem. One resident said that the odor has been a “constant problem” since that resident moved to the area in 1978. Another resident said that the smell has gotten progressively worse since 2010.

In 2011, the local air quality management district settled with the operators for $500,000 over charges they failed to control the pollution and set a deadline to correct the problem by summer 2013. A spokesman for the district says that since then, the operators have installed equipment that captures about 67 percent more malodorous gas than before. But residents say the smell actually has gotten worse in the past year. Meanwhile, the landfill has violated local rules at least 10 times since the 2011 fine.

A class action lawsuit of this type will likely involve the plaintiffs asking for a court order to force the company running the landfill to reduce the odor as well as possible financial damages.

Source: KPCC-FM, “Residents sue Sunshine Canyon Landfill operator over rotten garbage smell,” Ashley Bailey, Dec. 20, 2012

John P. Aldrich
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