Hattiesburg resolves water lawsuit contamination


HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The past several years the city and Hercules Plant located on West 7th street have been discussing the possibility of water contamination from the closed factory.

During Tuesday's city council meeting the lawsuit filed against the plant has finally been resolved. City Council voted to approve a confidential settlement agreement.

The agenda states:

"Adopt a Resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign a confidential settlement agreement and release resolving certain legal claims against Hercules Incorporated and Ashland Inc. under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Mississippi common law relating to the former Hercules plant on West 7th Street."

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the City of Hattiesburg filed a lawsuit against Hercules Incorporated and Ashland Inc. for alleged violations of federal and state law;

WHEREAS, the City of Hattiesburg, by and through its council of record, has negotiated a settlement of said lawsuit;

NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE KNOWN, that the City Council authorizs the Mayor of the City of Hattiesburg to sign a Confidential Settlement Agreement and Release, negotiated by the City's attorneys consistent with the terms presented to the Counci l during executive session, resolvi ng certain legal claims the City has asserted against Hercules Incorporated and Ashland Inc. (collectively "Hercules") under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Mississippi common law relating to the former Hercules Plant on West 7th Street.

A MOTION was made by Council Member and seconded by Council Member to Authorize the Mayor to sign a Confidential Settlement Agreement and Release, negotiated by the City's attorneys consistent with the terms presented to the Council during executive session, resolving certain legal claims the City has asserted against Hercules Incorporated and Ashland Inc. (collectively "Hercules") under RCRA and Mississippi common law relating to the former Hercules Plant on West 7th Street. In authorizing settlement of these

claims, the City acknowledges that the claims alleged in the complaint are contested in law and fact by Hercules, and Hercules denies any and all liability to the City. Should the City pursue its claims at trial, the outcome as to liability and damages would be uncertain and could result in a verdict for Hercules on all of the City's claims, in which event the City would not be entitled to any relief. In authorizing the settlement of these claims, the City further acknowledges that the proposed settlement is fair and reasonable given the complex legal and factual nature of the City's claims and Hercules's defenses, the risks associated with continued litigation, and the benefits that will accrue to the City under the terms of the proposed settlement. A copy of the Confidential Settlement Agreement and Release is attached to these minutes as Exhibit "I." Once fully executed by the Mayor, the executed copy of the Confidential Settlement Agreement and Release shall be substituted and preserved as part of the final minutes of the Council.

The above and foregoing resolution, after having been first reduced to writing, was introduced by Council member , seconded by Council member

-------- and was adopted by the following roll call vote, to wit: YEAS: NAYS:

The President thereby declared the motion carried and the resolution adopted, this the _th day of June, 2016.

(SEAL)

ATTEST: ATTEST:

CLERK OF COUNCIL PRESIDENT

The above and foregoing Resolution having been submitted to and approved by the Mayor, this the

_th day of June, 2016.

ATTEST: APPROVED:

CITY CLERK MAYOR

The suit claimed groundwater contamination from the close plant may have leaked into the city's water supply. It also alleged Hercules improperly disposed of harmful chemicals within the plant for years.

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