Dow Chemical loses lawsuit filed against the dioxin contamination, the verdict by the Michigan appellate court favors property owners

June 06, 2017

Dow Chemical, the well-known American multinational corporation accumulating a major chunk of worldwide chemicals market, has suffered a major setback with the loss of a crucial lawsuit pertaining to dioxin pollution. Not very long ago, proprietors residing in the vicinity of the Tittabawassee river toward the east of Michigan had sued the industrial cleaning chemicals market player over the contamination of the river plain stating that the dioxin released by the company since many decades had caused the river pollution. The Michigan court of appeals has finally declared the verdict in favor of the property owners and ordered Dow Chemical to pay the damages incurred by the claimants.

As per the court’s ruling proclaimed by Judge Henry Saad and Judge Kathleen Jansen, the company is liable to pay for the damages suffered by the complainants. The damages include the price depreciation of the plaintiffs’ assets & properties caused due to the release of dioxin in the soil. The released dioxin had also rendered the properties useless, depriving the landowners of enjoying the comfort of their own estate.

Dow Chemical had put up a firm defense, arguing that the statute of limitations had already ceased by the time the people had become conscious about the river contamination by dioxin, back in the 1980s. However, the Michigan court of appeals stated that the main date of the statute expiration was 2002, when environmental regulatory bodies of the Michigan state had reported the highest proportion of dioxin contaminations in the river flood plain in Saginaw County.

The litigation was filed a year later, within the three-year timeframe.  Hence, as per the two judges of the appeals court, the statute had not come into existence in its tangible form till the state published its 2002 notice. Eventually, the court of Michigan ruling has upheld the judgement given by the magistrate of the Saginaw County. The first week of June 2017 witnessed an e-mail being sent by the associated press to Dow Chemical Company seeking its reactions against the court’s verdict.

The attorney of Saginaw Bruce Trogan is reportedly pleased with the verdict, but he has predicted that the firm will try to appeal against the court verdict in the apex court of Michigan to seek justice. Whether the Supreme Court of Michigan will uphold the judgement of the Michigan court of appeals in favor of property owners or repeal the same, is something that is yet to be seen.