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United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, Southern Division
July 13, 2006, Decided ; July 14, 2006, Filed
CIVIL ACTION 03-0566-WS-B
This matter is before the Court on plaintiffs' Motion for Class [**2] Certification (doc. 330). Also pending are certain ancillary filings, including Defendants' Motion to Re-Urge Motions to Strike or Exclude Experts Farber and McFaddin (doc. 364), Defendants' Motion in Limine to Preclude Evidence of Newly Disclosed Sampling Data (doc. 365), and Defendants' Motion to Strike Affidavit of Dr. Philip Bedient (doc. 366), as well as various objections tendered by the parties to exhibits and deposition excerpts designated or utilized by opposing parties. A Class Certification Hearing was conducted before the undersigned on April 25 & 26, 2006, and the motions have been briefed and argued. These filings are now ripe for disposition.
I. Overview of the Case.
Plaintiffs initiated this putative class action in this District Court by filing a Complaint (doc. 1) on August 25, 2003. The presently operative Third Amended Class Action Complaint (doc. 212) alleges that plaintiffs Jessie Fisher ("Fisher"), Arlean Reed ("Reed"), Barbara Byrd ("Byrd"), and Ronald McIntyre ("McIntyre")(collectively, "plaintiffs") are residents of, and property owners in, Washington County, Alabama. Plaintiffs [*277] maintain that their property values have been impaired because such [**3] property has been contaminated by a nearby chemical manufacturing facility that is or has been owned at various times by defendants Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation, Ciba-Geigy Corporation, Novartis, Ltd., Inc., and Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. (collectively, "Ciba" or "defendants"). This manufacturing facility is located on a site exceeding 1,000 acres, with a developed plant site encompassing approximately 2.4 square miles. The Ciba site is approximately 1.3 kilometers northeast of McIntosh, Alabama, just north of a manufacturing plant owned and operated by Olin Corporation, just south of timber land owned by the Tensaw Land and Timber Company, and just west of a bend in the Tombigbee River. Ciba's McIntosh facility, which remains in active use today, has been operated continuously by defendants since 1952, and has been used to manufacture dozens of pesticides and herbicides at various times. From 1952 through 1965, the Ciba plant produced millions of pounds of the insecticide dichloro-dyphenyl-trichloroethane ("DDT"). 1 For an approximately 18-month period in 1953 and 1954, the Ciba plant also manufactured an insecticide called benzene hexachloride ("BHC"). 2 Because of [**4] on-site contamination, Ciba's McIntosh facility was designated a Superfund site by the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") in 1983.
[**5] In 2003, plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, sued Ciba on state law theories of negligence, conspiracy, strict liability, trespass, nuisance, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and fraudulent concealment, constructive fraud, and punitive/exemplary damages, as well as a federal claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 et seq. ("RICO"). Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages for diminution in property values resulting from the Ciba plant's contamination of their property with DDT and BHC.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
238 F.R.D. 273 *; 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48395 **
JESSIE FISHER, et al., Plaintiffs v. CIBA SPECIALTY CHEMICALS CORP., et al., Defendants
Subsequent History: Motion granted by Fisher v. Ciba Specialty Chems. Corp., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76692 (S.D. Ala., Oct. 20, 2006)
Prior History: Fisher v. Ciba Specialty Chems. Corp., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32628 (S.D. Ala., May 18, 2006)
contamination, plaintiffs', class certification, samples, proposed class, site, damages, predominance, dust, parcels, defendants', properties, plant, chemicals, class member, misrepresentations, ppb, groundwater, soil, certification, concentrations, individualized, district court, common issue, named plaintiff, environmental, discovery, manufactured, producing, questions
Civil Procedure, Special Proceedings, Class Actions, Certification of Classes, Evidence, General Overview, Testimony, Expert Witnesses, Summary Judgment, Supporting Materials, Affidavits, Judgments, Evidentiary Considerations, Appeals, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Prerequisites for Class Action, Adequacy of Representation, Commonality, Numerosity, Typicality, Justiciability, Standing, Injury in Fact, Attorneys, Governments, Courts, Pleading & Practice, Class Members, Named Members, Absent Members, Maintainability, Legislation, Statute of Limitations, Time Limitations, Antitrust & Trade Law, Private Actions, Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations, Statute of Limitations, Environmental Law, Administrative Proceedings & Litigation, Defenses, CERCLA & Superfund, Enforcement, Motion Practice, Opposing Memoranda, Torts, Business Torts, Fraud & Misrepresentation, Claims, Fraud, Actual Fraud, Elements, Constructive Fraud, Trials, Separate Trials, Pleadings, Answers, Supporting Memoranda