The firm is also serving as co-lead counsel in the TVA litigation in Tennessee. As all of our readers know by now, on December 22, 2008, TVA’s Kingston plant released 5.4 million cubic yards of coal ash waste onto 300 surrounding acres. This is the largest accident of its kind in U.S. history, with clean-up expected to cost approximately $1.2 billion and take until at least 2014 to complete. TVA has admitted that the clean-up will not remove all of the ash from the rivers and will leave an untold amount of ash in Watts Bar Lake, which is made up of the Emory, Clinch, and Tennessee rivers.
Our firm represents property owners affected by the coal ash spill, and in September 2010, Plaintiffs moved the court to certify a class. The U.S. District Court recently ruled that class action trial format is not the most practical and efficient means of resolving all of the litigation. Instead, the Court ruled that the cases should proceed individually. This ruling does not affect the merits of the Plaintiffs’ case, only how the litigation will be managed by the court.
Plaintiffs and their counsel have continued to gather evidence, and recently wrapped up discovery on June 14th. Prior to the end of discovery, Plaintiffs deposed more TVA executives and expert witnesses, including the TVA Inspector General, Richard Moore. The Inspector General issued a report in 2009 that was highly critical of TVA’s handling of the investigation into the causes of the coal ash spill, and Plaintiffs had the opportunity to question the Inspector General on this report and other topics related to the Kingston disaster.
As of this writing, Parties are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on June 21st for a scheduling conference before U.S. District Court Judge Varlan. The cases are set for trial in the Eastern District of Tennessee beginning in mid-September of this year.
David Byrne and Brantley Fry are working on this case for the section and have done a great job. If you need additional information on this subject, contact David Byrne or Brantley Fry in our firm at 800-898-2034 or by email at David.Byrne@beasleyallen.com or Brantley.Fry@beasleyallen.com.
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