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Class action lawsuit filed in former Ames plant fire


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Two days after a fire erupted at the former Ames plant, a class action lawsuit was filed Monday in the office of the Wood County Circuit Court clerk.

Kathy A. Brown, an attorney with Brown-Houston PLLC in Charleston, filed the suit on behalf of Timothy Callihan and others. Defendants named in the suit are Surnaik Holdings of West Virginia LLC, SirNaik LLC, Polymer Alliance Services LLC, Green Sustainable Solutions LLC and Intercontinental Export Import Inc.

In the filing the plaintiffs are seeking declaratory, injunctive and equitable relief, as well as compensatory and punitive damages, and costs incurred by the plaintiffs for what they term as the “intentional, knowing, reckless and negligent acts and omissions of defendants in connection with their management, operation and occupation” of the former Ames shovel plant on Camden Avenue.

According to the lawsuit, Callihan lives about two miles from the facility on 27th Avenue. At about 1 a.m. Oct. 21 a fire broke out which leveled the 400,000 square feet facility located in a largely residential area.

According to the suit the items in the plant included stryene-acrylonitrile, formaldehyde, titanium dixodie, carbon black and PTFE, also known as Teflon. More than 20 area fire companies in six counties from West Virginia and Ohio responded to the site, the suit states.

“As a direct and proximate result of the fire at the Ames Plant caused by defendant’s negligence, an overwhelming amount of chemical smoke, odors, gases and fumes, particulate matter, and other harmful ‘fallout material’ were released into a heavily populated residential area.” Ultimately the plant and surrounding area were designated as a disaster area and residents were advised to shelter in place, the suit states.

It is alleged the plaintiff and other class members have been made physically ill or otherwise harmed and have emotional and mental stress. For the case the individuals have been divided into two classes: one for health reasons and the others in a property or future illness.

Monday’s filing seeks relief for damages in expenses to monitor for latent diseases, medical and hospital bills, physical injury, property damage, emotional distress, annoyance and inconvenience and loss of property value, other damages they are entitled to recover, the suit states. They also allege trespassing for both parties, public and private nuisance and infliction of emotional distress, need for medical monitoring, unjust enrichment and gross negligence.

They are asking for a judgment against the defendants and for the plaintiff and class to receive compensation for monitoring costs in an amount to be determined at trial, compensatory damages and other relief as deemed just and proper.

They are demanding a trial by jury.

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