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Anderson v. Dow Chem. Co.

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20175
Nos. No. 06-30445, (5th Cir., 06/28/2007)

The court affirmed a lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of a chemical company in a lawsuit failed against it by approximately 600 former residents of a trailer park in Plaquemine, Louisiana, for groundwater contamination. The residents claimed strict liability and negligence due to the company's alleged vinyl chloride contamination of the groundwater in and surrounding the trailer park and sought compensatory and punitive damages. However, an Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry report that provided the groundwater sampling results for the trailer park stated, among other things, that "the total vinyl chloride exposures at [the trailer park] were not high enough to produce any of the known adverse health effects attributable to vinyl chloride." The residents failed to present competent summary judgment evidence to dispute that report's conclusions. In addition, the residents were afforded sufficient opportunity for discovery. Nor did the lower court lack subject matter jurisdiction over the case, and it did not err in excluding affidavits of the residents' expert witnesses. The lower court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the chemical company was therefore proper.