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Georgia-Pacific business litigation reaches class-action status

A lawsuit filed by a couple living near a Georgia-Pacific plant has been bumped up to a class-action lawsuit by a Superior Court judge. While the hearing on this business litigation issue was held in April, the judge's ruling was only recently announced.

The commercial lawsuit alleges that the Georgia-Pacific's plant in Rincon, Georgia, releases hydrogen sulfide, which is supposedly causing property values to decrease due to physical damage to homes in the area.

According to the lawsuit, production sludge disposed of at the plant gives off hydrogen sulfide. This byproduct causes an unpleasant rotten egg-like smell and can also be corrosive to metal. Reportedly, this waste product is created during Georgia-Pacific's manufacturing process, utilizing recycled paper and cardboard. Various homeowners in the area have alleged that the corrosive gases are ruining their home air conditioning systems.

A formal statement by Georgia-Pacific emphasizes that the company has been an important part of the community for over 25 years, and that it remains committed to being a good neighbor to residents in the area. According to a spokeswoman, Georgia-Pacific has been aware of the issue concerning the odor and corroded metal and has been working to alleviate those problems. Efforts have included the replacement of a number of air conditioning units in some surrounding homes.

In light of the lawsuit being granted class-action status, however, the company may suspend that program. The spokeswoman says all options, including a possible appeal of the ruling, are under consideration.

As this business litigation suit goes through the Georgia court system, it should be an interesting case for our readers to keep an eye on.

Source: SavannahNow.com, "Lawsuits against Georgia-Pacific granted class-action status," DeAnn Komanecky, July 10, 2012

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