In a big win for Plaintiffs and the community impacted by the 2017 Arkema plant fires, the Fifth Circuit has denied Defendant’s Motion for Leave to Appeal Judge Ellison’s Class Certification Order. This means that the Fifth Circuit will not review Judge Ellison’s class certification decision and the chemical plant fire case will proceed to trial.
In May of this year, Judge Ellison of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas re-certified the class action in the Wheeler v. Arkema. Judge Ellison’s 2022 Order came after the the Fifth Circuit’s prior reversal and remand of the 2019 class certification.
Judge Ellison certified an injunctive class under Rule 23(b)(2) for “All residents and real property owners located within a 7-mile radius of the Crosby, Texas, Arkema Chemical Plant.” The proposed injunctive relief sought on behalf of the class includes a full CERCLA style characterization and remediation as well as a medical surveillance program to study the novel exposures and educate the community of the risks.
“We’re excited for the Fifth Circuit’s decision and ready to move forward with the case to get the community what it deserves,” said Ashley Liuzza of Stag Liuzza, Co-Lead Class Counsel.
Michael Stag and Ashley Liuzza of Stag Liuzza, LLC, Van Bunch and the law firm of Bonnett Fairbourn Friedman & Balint, P.C.; Mark F. Underwood and the law firm of Underwood Law Offices; and Kevin W. Thompson and the law firm of Thompson Barney were all appointed Co-Lead Class Counsel by Judge Ellison for this case.