Exxon settles with New Orleans residents

May 26, 2008 at 7:45 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, May 26 (UPI) -- Attorneys have reached an agreement with ExxonMobil over claims the oil company exposed a Louisiana community to radioactive waste, settlement papers reveal.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Monday that the case relates to contamination allegedly left from three decades of offshore pipe-cleaning east of the Harvey Canal.

The property is owned by members of the Grefer family, who were awarded $112 million from ExxonMobil because of radioactive contamination that spoiled their land.

After the Grefer case, about 2,500 residents of the area sued for exposure to radioactive waste that they say has led to severe medical aliments.

ExxonMobil has agreed to settle, and pay claimants on a point bases. Each point is worth $968.

A person who simply lives in the area is assigned one point. A property owner also gets a point. But someone suffering from lung cancer, for example, or acute myeloid leukemia is worth 40 points and colon cancer is worth 26 points, settlement papers reveal.

Some residents say the $968 base is a pittance in comparison to the Grefer award.

Grefer "gets that kind of money and they give us chicken change?" said Herbert Adams, 59, who now lives in Tennessee. "I just don't get it."

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