Ace USA of Philadelphia scheduled for deposition Thursday in St. Louis

Christina Stueve May 15, 2012, 10:49am



Ace USA of Philadelphia was ordered to give a deposition before a notary public at Holland, Groves, Schneller in St. Louis on Thursday.

The company was ordered to bring all materials resulting from the investigation of the incident which occurred on Oct. 4, 2010. If these materials are produced before May 17, the deposition will not take place, according to a subpoena for deposition filed on May 11.

The putative class action case case was filed Nov. 4 by John Williams and Monica Harris-Williams Nov. 4 in Madison County Circuit Court against Magnesium Elektron North America.

The Williams say they were exposed to air pollution following a fire at Magnesium Elektron North America's plant in Madison on Oct. 4, 2010. They fear medical repercussions after magnesium allegedly was released in the air near their home.

The fire broke out near a coil reheating furnace used to heat large magnesium coils. The blaze expanded when a water line above the furnace ruptured.

Magnesium contacted molten magnesium, causing a chemical reaction with hydrogen gas and multiple explosions, the suit states.

The couple says they saw the plume of smoke from their home and smelled an unpleasant odor.

They blame the explosion for a thin film on their vehicle and home.

The law firm of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin and Bernard J. Ysursa in Belleville entered their appearance April 9 as co-counsel for defendant Magnesium Elektron North America.

A federal investigation of the explosion's environmental effects is ongoing, but Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a complaint, alleging the plant violated the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, according to the Williams' complaint.

Because of the explosion, the plaintiffs fear adverse health effects and a lower property value.

They seek a judgment of $200,000 for each member of the class, plus injunctive relief requiring the plant to clean the contamination.

Magnesium oxide is found in many over-the-counter vitamins and supplements.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth approved an April 27 request filed by attorneys on both sides of the case to have a stay in the discovery process. The attorneys wrote in their request for a stay that they are in settlement discussions, and they request a stay to "facilitate further discussion" according to the document. Ruth approved a stay period for 60 days.

Eric D. Holland, Steven J. Stolze and Kevin D. Wilkins of Holland, Groves, Schneller and Stolze in St. Louis represent the plaintiffs.

Michael H. Wetmore and William J. Curtis from Husch Blackwell in St. Louis represent the defense.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-1163

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