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Appeals court overturns dismissal of 63 pollution injury suits

While the civil justice system is certainly very effective, at times it can be flawed. Individuals in Las Vegas who seek the court’s assistance in resolving a matter may find that they don’t receive an outcome that they feel is fair. For that reason, the appeals court is set up to give people another shot at presenting their case and working toward justice.

In the past, the claims of 63 people, who asserted that they were injured by toxic fumes, were reportedly dismissed by a judge who stated that the statute of limitations had run out prior to filing suit. As such, they were dropped from a suit containing 631 plaintiffs alleging the same; however, they fought back by filing a civil appeals lawsuit.

According to court documents, the plaintiffs were living at a low-income housing community that was built atop contaminated land. They claim that they suffered very serious illnesses as a result of repeated exposure to chemicals that were present from ExxonMobile’s previous use of the land.

The issue regarding the statute of limitations purportedly arose due to a notification that the plaintiffs believe was ambiguous and therefore could not trigger the start of the two year time limit for filing. The counsel for the plaintiffs asserted that the letter did not sufficiently indicate that the residents would be exposed to health risks should they choose to stay on the property, it only informed them of their right to move.

The appellate court sided with the plaintiff, giving them the right to continue on with their pollution injury suits.

Source: Los Angeles Wave, “Former Ujima Village residents win their appeal,” Betty Pleasant, Sept. 26, 2013

John P. Aldrich
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