A local law firm has teamed up with a Michigan-based class action firm seeking plaintiffs for a possible lawsuit against Mobile roofing tile manufacturer GAF Materials Corp.
A letter from the firm of Burns, Cunningham & Mackey sent to a number of residents near the facility on Emogene Street in midtown said the firm was partnering with Liddle & Dubin in Detroit to “investigate the possibility of a filing litigation against GAF Materials Corp. for the emission of noxious odors.”
“Due to your proximity to GAF Materials Corp., you may have experienced odors associated with this neighboring facility,” the letter reads. “Odors which interfere with the use and enjoyment of your home may constitute a nuisance that may entitle you to compensation. Any litigation filed by this office would also have the objective of preventing any future emission of noxious odors.”
Lagniappe reached out to partner Pete Mackey last week about the possibility of a lawsuit. While Mackey answered his phone, he did not provide any additional information. An attorney with Liddle & Dubin did not return a call seeking comment.
The letter included an attached “data sheet” asking for residents’ names, names of spouses, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers. The “data sheet” also asked four questions, including: “Do you own the above home? If no, are you a tenant? How long have you resided at the property listed above?”
It also asks “Have you noticed any odors from the GAF Materials facility at your home?”
In March 2017, a number of residents complained about odors from GAF at a Mobile City Council meeting. South Lafayette Street resident Eleanor Tar Horst told councilors the GAF manufacturing facility near the intersection of Florida and Emogene streets is a major contributor to nearby residents’ eye and lung irritation. She also complained about the odor.
“It’s so overpowering they have to stay indoors,” she said. “The emissions could have a negative impact on health … and tourism.”
Crenshaw Street resident Perry Berens, who ran for City Council against Councilman Fred Richardson, complained about finding soot on his home that he claimed came from the facility.
“The only logical conclusion is it’s from GAF,” Berens said, adding that the health of residents should be considered a public safety issue. “It should be looked at more than passing the buck. It should be a group issue to help us get this resolved.”
At the time, Richardson said the Alabama Department of Environmental Management had already looked at air quality issues related to the emissions at GAF.
“ADEM is a state agency,” Richardson said at the time. “You have elected leaders at the state level. I would put them to work.
“We’re the target,” he added. “We’re not the sheriff. We have no control.”