Coal Ash Lawsuit Mediation Extended in Hopes of Finding Resolution
The parties involved in trying to resolve the federal lawsuit concerning the cleanup of the 2008 Kingston coal ash disaster now have more time to resolve their dispute. US Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton granted the coal ash workers and the Texas company responsible for cleanup an extended deadline for mediation to August 16th. There are approximately 70 workers or family members of workers involved in the dispute with Jacobs Engineering. The case has been ongoing for years.
Mediation was suggested to the two groups by a different judge as a means for reaching a resolution more efficiently. The dispute concerns whether or not damages should be paid by Jacobs to the workers and their families.
According to the workers and their families, Jacobs Engineering did not warn them or offer protection from exposure during the cleanup efforts. They were working to lean up a massive spill of coal ash that was caused by a broken dike at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston power plant.
The workers claim they were exposed to a toxic substance in the dried coal ash, which resulted in some of them developing cancer and other potentially fatal illnesses. Families of former workers claim their loved ones’ deaths were caused by exposure.
After hearing arguments from both sides in November, a federal judge decided there was evidence that Jacobs did not uphold its duty to warn workers of their risk or to provide them with adequate protection. As a result, an investigation began into whether any workers had been injured or made ill.