Dayton landfill lawsuit checks sent to nearly 1,800 in surrounding communities

Stonyhollow landfill  STAFF

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Stonyhollow landfill  STAFF

Nearly 1,800 area residents approved as class members in a $4.1 million settlement of a federal lawsuit involving odors from a Dayton landfill should be receiving checks — if they have not already.

An attorney for plaintiff Carly Beck in the claim against Stony Hollow Landfill said funds were received the first week of January before the process of sending class members their share: $602.42 in most cases.

“Barring some extraordinary, unusual delay in the mail – which can always happen for a handful of people I guess – I would think just about everybody would have their checks by now,” Detroit attorney Nicholas Coulson said on Tuesday.

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Check recipients include residents of Dayton, Jefferson Twp., Kettering, Miami Twp., Moraine and West Carrollton, according to a map of the approved class area.

Odors from the South Gettysburg Avenue landfill also have drawn complaints from residents in Trotwood, Miamisburg, Oakwood and other areas since early 2016, several months before the suit was filed that November.

However, to be eligible for funds area residents had to live within about 2.5 miles of the landfill’s boundaries, according to the settlement agreement approved in late November by U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose.

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“We don’t doubt at all that there are people who live outside the class area boundary who may have smelled an odor that was attributable to that landfill,” Coulson said.

Coulson said anyone who has questions about their checks, claims or rights under the settlement should call his office at (313) 392-0015.

The deposit of funds required in the settlement agreement, “fully resolves the odor class action lawsuit” for Stony Hollow, said Kathy Trent, senior public affairs manager for Waste Management Inc., which owns the landfill.

More than 2,000 people sought to become class members of the suit, which claimed the owner of Stony Hollow was negligent. Some of those eligible opted out of the settlement, while Coulson said others were rejected because they did not live within the class boundaries, their claims were late or the claims were not properly documented.

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The settlement approved by Rose directed Stony Hollow parent company Waste Management Inc. to deposit $1.875 million, a fund from which class members would be paid. It also required the landfill to invest $1.45 million to “reduce the potential for odor emissions,” according to court records.

Before the settlement, the plaintiff’s attorneys communicated more than 240 class members “and we were pretty well plugged into the concerns of the people in the area,” Coulson said.

And what, by and large, we heard – like the vast majority of nuisance cases that we do around the country – they primarily want the problem solved,” he added. “

“There’s obviously a monetary damage component, based on the people being deprived of the ability to use their homes as they would like to. So that’s why we believe it was appropriate and necessary to include the monetary aspect of the settlement,” he added.

-MORE COVERAGE ON THIS ISSUE:

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