Packer pays damages

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Mar 7, 2005
by WLJ
A jury in the U.S. District Court in Omaha awarded a judgment in favor of South Sioux city resident Carol Marmo for damages and injuries she suffered due to numerous releases of hydrogen sulfide gas by IBP, Inc. This trial was the culmination of a nearly five year court battle for Mrs. Marmo and vindication for the community in a more than fifteen-year fight against IBP for damages caused by massive chemical emissions from IBP’s Dakota City wastewater treatment facility.
Mrs. Marmo is represented by the law firms of Croker Huck Kasher Dewitt & Gonderinger of Omaha and Resolution Law Group, PC of Washington, DC, in her battle. Richard Dewitt, one of the attorneys for Mrs. Marmo, exclaimed, “This is a great victory for the Siouxland community. IBP poisoned the air around its Dakota facility for more than a decade and now they are finally being called to account.” Dewitt then continued, “while this is only the first case of many that will be tried, including cases involving asthmatic adults and children, this result shows that IBP’s behavior will not be tolerated.”
During the last decade, the community has been studied by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality cited IBP for violations of
law, the Department of Justice has filed suit against IBP, and community members have engaged in a long fight to stop IBP from polluting the local air.
“Finally, the community’s right to clean air has been vindicated in the courts,” explained Michael Goodstein of Resolution Law Group,“there are more of these cases to be tried before the impact of IBP’s actions can be fully addressed, but tonight the people and children of Siouxland can breath a little easier.”
Mr. Dewitt concluded, “We got involved with these cases because we saw that people in the community—particular the elderly and children—were injured. The stories of respiratory problems and asthma in this community are astounding.”
Hydrogen sulfide is a highly toxic gas produced in massive volumes during the processing of wastewater at IBP’s Dakota City facility. The IBP facility emitted nearly a ton a day of this toxin into the environment in the Siouxland area. Persons exposed to hydrogen sulfide, especially sensitive ones such as the elderly or children, can suffer significant distress including eye, nose and throat irritation and asthma.
The next trial in this series will begin on April 5, in the Nebraska District Court in Omaha, NE. — WLJ