Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch supports judge's dismissal of Denka lawsuit

By Carrie Bradon | May 9, 2019

NEW ORLEANS – Judge Martin Feldman has dismissed a lawsuit petitioning for class-action status, claiming that the allegations were unclear and therefore not worthy of being advanced.

According to The Advocate, the lawsuit against the Denka Performance Elastomer plant was filed on June 5 and claimed that operations at the plant were causing a number of health issues for those in the St. John the Baptist Parish. In addition to the allegations, the lawsuit also wanted Denka to be served with an injunction that would cause the emissions of chloroprene to be reduced to below the suggested 0.2 milligrams per cubic meter of air.

Lana Venable of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch (LLAW) agreed with the judge’s decision to throw out the suit.

“Judge Feldman’s decision to dismiss the suit against Denka is reasonable, as it simply did not meet the administrative requirements for its claims,” Venable, executive director of LLAW, told Louisiana Record. “The plaintiffs have yet to adequately describe what harm has occurred, or why the company should be liable.”


Lana Venable of Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch  

Feldman stated the plaintiff was also unqualified in her application because she postponed her claim for damages too long. There is one more lawsuit against Denka awaiting Feldman’s decision, which was filed by a group named Concerned Citizens of St. John and is seeking injunctive relief in the hopes that the judge will shut down the plant or reduce emissions.

Venable believes the lawsuit that was dismissed serves as yet another example of attorneys looking for a large payout from a profitable company.

“This suit, as the others against the company, is just another example of out-of-town lawyers trying to shake down a company with presumed deep pockets, without evidence to back up their claims,” she said.

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