Class Action Clients React After Lawsuit Filed Against Mountaire - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Class Action Clients React After Lawsuit Filed Against Mountaire Farms

Posted: Jun 13, 2018 5:53 PM Updated:

MILLSBORO, Del.- Some of the 695 clients of a $150 million Class Action lawsuit filed against Arkansas-based Mountaire Farms tell WBOC they want the poultry company held accountable.

Neighbors tell WBOC that Mountaire's Millsboro plant disposes of wastewater sludge near their property in a way that disrupts their lives.

"If they are spraying in the woods, the sludge, you cannot be outside," says Ron Tolson. "You can’t have the windows open on a beautiful day. It’s just impossible. The smell is unbelievable and then later on come the flies."

Others like Gary Cuppels claim they suffered from health issues they now attribute to drinking water they claim was contaminated by Mountaire Farms.

“In three days my situation cleared up,” Cuppels says, referring to his condition after switching to bottled water. “Unfortunately it did not for my wife. My wife had gastrointestinal issues so bad that we had to take her to the emergency room two times.”

Mountaire Farms has long denied that its wastewater upset last fall contaminated nearby private wells. In a statement to WBOC Tuesday, the poultry company doubled down on those claims.

"As we have stated many times previously, elevated levels of nitrates in Sussex County is a very common widespread environmental condition that has existed for many decades, way before the arrival of Mountaire and certainly did not occur just in the past 17 years," the company said in a statement issued to WBOC.

The company also called Wednesday's press conference a "media blitz" and that Mountaire "anticipate[s] that the complaint will assert claims based on thinly researched and hastily prepared reports by paid “experts” that will collapse under careful scrutiny."

But client Christina Caligiure, who lives near the Millsboro plant, says that's not true.

"I don't buy it at all because I see it, I smell it, I hear it. It's ridiculous," she says. "They're not doing anything but poisoning the people around the area."

To read the full class action complaint and Mountaire's response, read the PDFs below.





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