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New Debates in Dioxin Case Wednesday, October 29, 2003

The timeline for a hearing on class action status in the dioxin contamination lawsuit against Dow has been pushed back.

Yesterday afternoon, Saginaw County Circuit Court Judge Leopold Borello agreed to give both sides an extra six weeks to review discovery information in the case. Dow Spokesman Scot Wheeler says they are happy with the move. Attorney for the Tittabawassee flood plain residents against Dow, Jan Helder says its the best thing for all involved at this point to make sure the judge makes the right moves in the case.

With allegations of health and property damage caused by the dioxin and a push for medical monitoring of Tittabawassee flood plain residents, Dow says medical, home and car insurance records as well as employment records are need. Helder says such records won't prove anything in the case. He contends simply living in the dioxin contaminated flood plain is enough to prove class action and a need for medical monitoring. The matter of which personal records will be part of discovery is expected to be settled by Saginaw County circuit court judge Leopold Borello in about ten days.

Both sides will also file briefs in the next two weeks on the issue of Dow interviewing people who live in the Tittabawassee flood plain area. The State of Michigan says it could be considered ethical for a defendant to question members of a possible class action before certification takes place. Attorneys for the residents say the interviews could possibly be used as evidence against the claims in the case. If class action status is granted in the dioxin case the number of stake holders could grow from about 200 to over 2,000.

A new hearing date for possible class certification is set for January 27th.

For additional articles like this one, go to the Tittabawasse 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.