Russellville Rockwell Lawsuit May Be Over

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The Kentucky Supreme Court refused to re-hear the Russellville Rockwell contamination case last week, perhaps signaling the end to an 11 year-old case.

A group of some 75 Russellville and Butler county homeowners along Down Creek and Mud River was awarded a $217 million verdict by a Logan County jury in 1996. The homeowners alleged the plant improperly disposed of cancer-causing PCB chemicals, and caused severe damage to their lives and properties.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals overturned that verdict in 2000, and the KY Supreme Court upheld that decision in 2002, but said the plaintiffs might deserve another trial. But the court's latest decision to decline discretionary review means the matter has been finally put to rest, says Rockwell's attorney.

Reached by phone, the plaintiff's attorney said he had no comment other than that his clients were "extremely dissappointed" by the ruling.

Rockwell spent millions in 1997 and 1998 to clean up the waterways. Another related case remains untried in the Butler Circuit Court.