In Tennessee, businesses and even governmental agencies can cause harm to the public. Injuries resulting from the negligence or errors of the entity can result in life-long illnesses and even death. Recovering from these types of injuries such as breathing in coal ash harms those exposed to environmental damage including reduced quality of life.
The Swan Pond community had a billion gallons of coal ash dumped into it when the Kingston Fossil Plant spilled in 2008. So far, there have been hundreds of complaints filed against Jacobs Engineering, a contractor of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Of those that have fallen ill from exposure to the ash, some workers have passed away.
A TBI investigation received recently received approval after three witnesses gave testimonies lasting over five hours. The cleanup had problems that resulted in the hundreds of injuries according to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs claim the exposure caused skin, lung, blood and brain cancers but have not proven the spill caused the illnesses.
There are currently four lawsuits against the contractor. Currently, the Tennessee Valley Authority is not a defendant but that may change as the proceedings move forward. The plaintiffs allege the contractor did not follow necessary safety precautions including not informing the workers of the potential dangers of exposure.
Protecting the rights of the public is a concern whether it is environmental or constitutionally required. An attorney has the expertise and knowledge to combat businesses in court. Businesses have an obligation to protect their employees and the public from illness or injury resulting from an environmental disaster such as this one.