WNEM-TV5 7/21/03

Court Hears Arguments in Dow Dioxin Case

(TV5) Midland--Dow Chemical, and the people suing them over Dioxin hashed it out in court Monday. The issue at hand is whether the plaintiff's health is jeopardized by dioxin in the Titabawassee River Flood Basin.

The number of plaintiffs involved in the Dow dioxin lawsuit has increased from twenty-six to 219. Today, both sides had their day in court.

Judge Leo Borrello is deciding whether this is a class-action lawsuit.

Over 200 plaintiffs claim their health is jeopardized by dioxin placed into the river by Dow operations.

The suit seeks compensation for property, medical monitoring, and punitive damages. Attorneys for Dow say there's no Michigan precedent to support the filing of a medical claim without the presence of an injury.

Meantime, plaintiffs attorneys say homeowners received letters from the Department of Environmental Quality warning them of excessive dioxin levels and cautioning them to avoid contact with soil.

Judge Borrello should decide whether this is a class action suit in the next two weeks.