PIKETON, Ohio (PRWEB) May 31, 2019
A lawsuit filed earlier this week claims that Zahn’s Corner Middle School in Piketon, Ohio, was forced to close on May 13, 2019 because enriched uranium and neptunium-237 allegedly originating from the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant - approximately two miles away from the school - were detected in the area.
Residents within a seven-mile radius of the plant are now seeking remediation for the radioactive and metal contamination allegedly found on their properties and have hired an internationally-renowned group of attorneys and scientists responsible for the largest verdict in legal history for radiation contamination.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court/Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division states that no nuclear incident has ever been reported at the site, nor did any of the named defendants, private companies tasked with performing work in and around the site, have a license to dispose of said materials on the plaintiff’s property.
According to the suit, the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) assumed uranium enrichment operations at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in 1993. Over the following years, operations related to the processing, enrichment, conversion, and disposal of uranium and uranium byproducts were executed by USEC and other named defendants Centrus Energy Corp., Uranium Disposition Services LLC, BWXT Conversion Services, LLC, Mid-America Conversion Services, Bechtel Jacobs Company, LLC, LATA/Parallax Portsmouth, LLC, and Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth, LLC.
Lead Counsel Stuart H. Smith, one of the attorneys in the newly filed class action, has more than 30-years of experience documenting the radioactive shelf life of these nuclear activities.
The biggest problem for the community and workers is that unlike a petrochemical or plastics plant, the radioactive materials cannot be detected by the human senses.
The class action is on behalf of all current and former property owners within a seven-mile radius of the plant, all residents who lived within that radius for more than one calendar year, and on behalf of all current and former students of Zahn’s Corner Middle School as well as their parents.
Mr. Smith has been the nation’s leading litigator on radiation contamination cases since 1992, when he litigated against Chevron for six-and- a-half solid months of trial in federal court in Mississippi for exposing its workers and property owners to radioactive oil pipe residue, becoming one of the longest civil jury trials in U.S. history.
Mr. Smith, in 2001, won the largest verdict in legal history for radiation contamination which had been concealed by ExxonMobil in Harvey, Louisiana. He has also represented the residents and businesses impacted by St. Louis’ 75-year corporate history of irresponsibly transporting and storing radioactive waste.
Mr. Smith leads a team of legal, medical, and environmental experts. “I have tried radiation cases against ExxonMobil and Chevron that have lasted months in court. The Portsmouth defendants are either going to remediate their actions or we will see them in court. These actors must take responsibility for their reckless actions,” he said.