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Freeman v. Grain Processing Corp.

ELR Citation: 47 ELR 20071
Nos. 15-1942, (Iowa, 05/12/2017)

The Iowa Supreme Court held that neighbors of an Iowa corn processing plant were properly certified as a class to pursue pollution claims against the operator. The neighbors filed a suit under state nuisance, trespass, and negligence law, claiming air pollution from the plant interfered with the use of their property. A district court certified the neighbors as two subclasses, one for members in close proximity to the plant, and the other for those in peripheral proximity. The plant challenged the certification of the class, arguing that the claims were individual in nature and pointing to variances in testimony submitted by the residents. The Iowa Supreme Court disagreed, stating that while there may be a difference in the degree to which each plaintiff was injured, there was enough commonality to uphold the lower court's decision. The certification was affirmed.