A group of 45 Juliette residents filed a lawsuit against Georgia Power in July 2020, alleging that illegal dumping of coal ash at its Scherer Power Plant has contaminated the area's groundwater, causing or contributing to a number of serious medical conditions. Filed in Fulton County Superior Court, the suit seeks to force the power company to change its coal ash storage procedures to prevent further pollution, as well as pay damages and provide ongoing medical care and monitoring to victims.
Heavy metals found in industrial waste are associated with a wide range of severe medical issues, including but not limited to:
- Cardiovascular disorder
- Immune disorders
- Liver damage
- Thyroid damage
- Uranium poisoning
The 2020 lawsuit is similar to lawsuits more than a dozen Juliette residents filed against Georgia Power in 2013. The earlier lawsuits were voluntarily withdrawn by the plaintiffs after the court required them to present expert evidence supporting their claims.
Georgia Power, which responded to the lawsuit by filing multiple motions in September 2020, expects the new lawsuit to fail similarly. The power company denied that the plaintiffs had “incurred any injury or damages” and claim the lawsuit “fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted” against it.
Additionally, Georgia Power sought to have the claims of the 16 plaintiffs who brought the 2013 lawsuits dismissed from the current case, claiming that the statute of limitations has expired, thus barring them from pursuing a legal remedy. The plaintiffs and their attorneys vow to continue fighting for accountability and fair damages.
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