$27.8 Million Settlement Finalized In TVA Coal Ash Spill

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan has approved a settlement agreement in which the Tennessee Valley Authority (“TVA”) has agreed to pay $27.8 million to victims of a massive coal ash spill that decimated the area around the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in December 2008. This settlement comes on the heels of a 2012 ruling by Judge Varlan that TVA was liable for the spill, which occurred when a dike burst at a coal ash containment pond. The resulting deluge of more than a billion gallons of toxic sludge knocked homes from their foundations and contaminated the Emory and Clinch rivers. Beasley Allen lawyers Rhon Jones, who heads up the firm’s Toxic Torts section, and Grant Cofer are representing the Plaintiffs. 

“This settlement represents the culmination of more than five years of litigation and negotiations,” says Mr. Jones, “and through this agreement, those who deserve it can receive compensation from TVA. This is important for every property owner impacted by this terrible tragedy.” 

The final settlement agreement will allow more than 800 residents and property owners affected by the coal ash spill to hold TVA accountable for the impact to their way of life. Cleanup efforts continue even years after the spill, with total costs expected to exceed $1.2 billion. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has described the spill as one of the worst environmental disasters of its kind. The TVA coal ash spill released more than a billion gallons of toxic sludge over 300 acres in East Tennessee within the course of minutes. It is estimated there is at least 500,000 cubic yards of coal ash still remaining on the bottoms of the Emory and Clinch rivers. Sludge from the coal ash containment pond contains toxic substances including arsenic, lead, mercury and other heavy metals.


Attorney General Slatery Names Solicitor General

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced that Andrée Sophia Blumstein will join the office as solicitor general.   Mrs. Blumstein will oversee appellate litigation in state and federal courts, review written opinions, and advise the attorney general. “I could not be more pleased that Andrée has accepted this important appointment,” Attorney General Slatery ... (click for more)

Northwest Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Falls To 7.1 Percent In September

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that the unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in September was 7.1 percent, down 1.0 percent from 8.1 percent in August. The rate in September of last year was 7.8 percent. The rate dropped because there were 4,034 fewer unemployed people in the Northwest Georgia area in September, according to the federal government’s ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke, Chattanooga Police Department, And Community Members Reach Out To Group Members To End Violence

The city of Chattanooga held a call-in on Thursday night, as part of the Violence Reduction Initiative. Dozens of law enforcement officials, community members, social service providers and clergy gathered to deliver a message to over 20 members of violent groups in Chattanooga. Family members of the probationers watched the call-in from another building. Although the call-in was ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Chairs Cost How Much?

Many times while growing up, I would go to the store with my parents. More often than not, I would see something I wanted, and ask my parents to buy it for me. More often than not, they said no. “Why?” I asked. “Son, money doesn’t grow on trees.” That’s a phrase I’m sure many of us have heard more than once over the course of our lives. However, I have since learned that they were ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Luther

One sunny morning in June years ago, the renowned radio icon Luther Masingill was on his way back to the WDEF studios on South Broad Street when he stopped for a red light and noticed a young couple in a car idling next to his familiar light blue Ford pickup. “What caught my eye was a buck-toothed boy eating a banana in the back seat,” he explained in an aside to that day’s lunchtime ... (click for more)