Hartford wants its pollution case assigned to Stack

Steve Korris Aug. 22, 2008, 5:28am

Hartford village trustees have asked Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron to transfer their suit against 27 oil and pipeline companies to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

The village filed the suit July 15, seeking damages on behalf of all Hartford residents over pollution from petroleum refinery operations.
Chief Judge Ann Callis assigned the suit to Byron.

Village attorney Merle Bassett moved Aug. 13 for transfer to Stack, arguing that the case involves similar facts to a case before Stack.

"Plaintiff believes it would be in the best interest of judicial economy of time and effort to order this cause reassigned," Bassett wrote.

In the case before Stack, Shell Oil subsidiary Equilon Enterprises and Clark Oil successor Premcor Refining recently agreed to settle all claims for $16 million.

Refinery operations have created an underground lake of petroleum that releases vapors above the ground with each rainfall.

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