Jones vs. IMC Global
A large class suit was brought against IMC’s former fertilizer facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The suit alleged that IMC’s operation had generated dioxins and released them into the atmosphere, thereby contaminating the surrounding mostly residential area.
We first evaluated the process for potential emission points that were provided to our air modeling expert. A survey of class member homes was conducted to determine if potential dioxin sources existed within their homes. Dioxin measurements were also taken in the neighborhood.
Based on the process used at the IMC facility, it was extremely unlikely that dioxins would have been produced or released. Our review of the process determined a few locations where dust emissions could have been released into the atmosphere. These locations were built into an air model to determine where the emissions might have traveled. The survey of class member homes identified numerous sources of potentially hazardous chemicals that were being stored and used in these homes. The survey also identified potential sources of dioxins in these homes that were not associated with the IMC facility. Dioxin sampling in the area demonstrated that the dioxin levels were within normal range except near burn barrels which were numerous in the area. As a result of the data, the issue was settled for a minimal amount—less than the expense to go to trial.