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From November 14, 2005                                                                                                           

Court Allows Dow Class Action Lawsuit For Dioxin Contamination
(Beyond Pesticides, November 14, 2005)
The first major hurdle was won last month when Saginaw County Circuit Court Judge Leopold Borrello granted class action status to the long-running litigation against Dow Chemical for the dioxin contamination of more than 50 miles of river and floodplain leading to Lake Huron in Michigan.

"’We feel something finally is going our way,’" Gloria Taylor told a reporter for Midland Daily News. Mrs. Taylor and her husband have been involved in the suit since its inception in March 2003.

Dow Chemical Co. may face as many as 2,000 property owners in the class action lawsuit over dioxin contamination. Dow has promised to appeal the decision.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued a wild game consumption advisory due to contamination of the entire food web in the area.

About 170 property owners originally signed onto the suit after being notified by the State that their Tittabawassee River-area homes are contaminated with dioxin beyond levels considered safe. A warning was issued for residents to limit contact with contaminated soil and dust that could cause a variety of ailments, including cancer.

After a year and a half of legal maneuvering by Dow, the Judge in the case ruled that the lawsuit should move forward all-inclusively because the residents of the flood plain all complain that Dow contaminated their property.

Judge Borrello wrote in his order, "To deny a class action in this case and allow the plaintiffs to pursue individual claims would result in up to 2,000 individual claims being filed in this court. Such a result would impede the convenient administration of justice," according to the Midland Daily News report on October 22, 2005.