Ruling expected in lawsuit over Dow dioxin contamination

By Eartha Jane Melzer, The Michigan Messenger | 05.20.11 | 9:56 am

Saginaw County Judge Leopold Borello said Thursday that he is close to issuing an opinion on whether property owners in the dioxin-contaminated Tittabawassee floodplain may sue Dow Chemical as a group.

Henry v. Dow was filed in 2003 and Borrello approved class action status for the suit five years ago but Dow fought that decision all the way to the state Supreme Court, which in 2009 ordered Borello to reexamine his decision.

At the time Teresa Woody, attorney for the plaintiffs, said that she didn’t think it would take long for Borello to verify his earlier decision in view of the new standard developed by the supreme court.

ABC12 reports that Borrello, who is now retired, has promised to issue an opinion within two weeks.

Years of chemical manufacturing at Dow’s Midland facility has resulted in a plume of contamination that reaches from Midland through the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers into Lake Huron and covers thousands of acres.

The disputed class action involves property owners in the Saginaw County portion of the 100-year floodplain of the Tittabawassee River.

If Borello approves the class it could involve around 2,000 plaintiffs.

Dow has argued that the property owners should not be treated as a group because their properties have varying levels of contamination.

For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawassee River Watch web site for complete coverage of the Tittabawassee River Dow Chemical dioxin contamination saga. . The Newspaper / Media page of our site contains an extensive archive of media articles dating back to January 2002. The source organization's web site link is listed to the right of the article, visit often for other news in our area. The Newspaper / Media page may be accessed by scrolling down to the bottom of the CONTENTS section and clicking on the Newspaper/Media link.