Refinery Pollution

Madison County, IL: (Apr-24-08) A class action lawsuit was brought against Shell Oil and Premcor Refining Group, by two sets of people, stating that their refinery operations polluted the village of Hartford. Court records pertaining to the two lawsuits claimed that the environment was contaminated due to refinery operations for an underground lake of petroleum that released unhealthy vapors with every rainfall. The class contended that they suffered health hazard and property damage.

Under the terms of a settlement agreement that was recently reached in the case, company spokespersons for Shell Oil and Premcor Refining Group announced that the companies will jointly payout $16 million to resolve the class action claims. As per the terms listed, the legal teams would evenly divide a $5,333,333 fee; about $6.2 million, would compensate class members for displacement, loss of enjoyment and loss of use. Displacement payments would run $250 a week for individuals and $500 for businesses, to a maximum of $5,000. Sources said that of the settlement monies, $8.5 million would come from Shell and $7.5 million from Premcor. The deal stipulated that anyone who has lived in Hartford since 1984 or owned property in the village since then would qualify for payments. [THE MADISON/ST. CLAIRE RECORD: SHELL AND PREMCOR SETTLE HARTFORD VAPOR CLAIMS FOR $16 MILLION]

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