Louisiana Record

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Used motor oil refinery slapped with class action lawsuit for allegedly noxious, harmful emissions

By Louisiana Record reports | Feb 27, 2015

GRETNA – The neighbors of a New Orleans area refinery that specializes in recycling used motor oil have filed a class action lawsuit claiming their quality of life and health is at jeopardy due to harmful emissions coming from the industrial site.

Stacy Davis, Becky Valle and James A. Block filed suit against Omega Refining LLC, Omega Refining Inc., Vertex Refining LLC and Stacy Lucas in the 24th Judicial District Court on Jan. 6.

Davis, Valle and Block are the lead plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed against the defendants claiming they have experienced a number of negative health effects due to emissions emanating from an industrial facility nearby their homes that is owned and operated by Omega Refining, Omega Refining Inc., Vertex Refining and Lucas.

The plaintiffs allege that exposure to hydrochloric acid, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from the defendants’ plant has resulted in nearby residents suffering from headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, skin irritation, eye irritation and breathing problems. Furthermore, the plaintiff’s class alleges the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has provided false emissions information surrounding the plant.

The proposed class, which the plaintiffs claims could be in excess of 1,000 people altogether, claims that the refinery, which has been in operation since 1994, has since 2012 experienced a number of breakdowns that have resulted in improperly functioning refinery equipment and the release of hazardous emissions beyond levels allowable by state law. In addition, the class contends the refinery has misrepresented and concealed information surrounding the releases when submitting documents to the state government containing details on the extent and nature of their emissions. In addition, the plaintiffs assert that the defendants have engaged in the unpermitted discharge of chemicals into land on the facility grounds and nearby property as well as the Jefferson Parish water supply.

The defendant is accused of negligence, violating several sate laws, wrongful conduct and fraudulent conduct.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, anxiety, fear, medical expenses, preexisting conditions, inconvenience and deprivation of use and enjoyment of homes.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jeremiah A. Sprague of Marrero-Based Falcon Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Raymond S. Steib Jr.

Case no. 745-579.

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