The settlement from a 2005 environmental class action lawsuit continues to benefit the community more than four years after the case was resolved.
In Stanley vs. United States Steel Corporation, Sommers Schwartz attorney Jason Thompson brought a class action on behalf of residents of Ecorse and River Rouge, Michigan. The plaintiffs claimed that emissions from U.S. Steel’s mill contained particulate matter from the steel-making process that settled on their property, creating a nuisance and causing extensive damage.
The parties agreed to a revised settlement in January 2010, which established a fund from which the plaintiffs would be compensated, and which designated the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan as the recipient of any remaining cy-près funds. Under the cy-près doctrine, unapplied settlement proceeds may be used to promote the interests of class members, rather than returning the funds to a defendant.
Judge Avern Cohen determined that the $1 million amount would serve the class members’ interest through financial support to their immediate community, with the money distributed as follows:
- $250,000 to the River Rouge School District to support the implementation of its Educational Development Plan project
- $250,000 to the River Rouge School District to support the implementation of a new performing arts initiative
- $500,000 to the Ecorse Public Schools to support various instructional personnel and afterschool activities
Sommers Schwartz is proud of its efforts in the class action and the results it obtained for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and the communities in which they live.