Judge Approves Rocky Flats Settlement

U.S. District Judge John L. Kane has given preliminary approval to the $375 million settlement between nearby residents of the Rocky Flats Plant and the plant operators, Rockwell International Corp. and the Dow Chemical Company. “The allocation for the $375 million settlement, according to the Kane’s order, is 81.5 percent for residential properties, 15.3 percent for vacant land and 3.2 percent for commercial properties. Up to 40 percent of the total — or $150 million — could be awarded as fees to the attorneys in the case.”

There are 13,000 to 15,000 households that may be eligible for payments. There is a website where people can check to see whether their property is in the area involved and make them eligible for payments. There is a map showing the area involved. The property has to have been owned by the claimant or their family members on June 7, 1989, the day the FBI raided the plant “…to look for environmental crimes.”

I’m not going to celebrate this, because I believe it to be a miscarriage of justice. A previous ruling by a three judge panel found that no actual damage had occurred. This ruling is apparently based on a “nuisance law.” The total amount of $375million for the plant creating a “nuisance” seems to me to be extremely excessive considering the huge economic boost the plant gave to the area over decades of operation, which of course involves the area of the settlement.

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