Taft litigation attorneys are representing the plaintiffs in a class-action complaint against the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) and Deputy Assistant Commissioner Douglas R. Louks. The plaintiffs include three independent gas station owners, an environmental engineering firm, the U.S. Small Business Owners Association (USSBOA), and the proposed classes for the class action lawsuit.
Filed on May 14, 2020, the Complaint seeks injunctive relief and damages for actions by IDEM, its refusal to properly process claims submitted to the Excess Liability Trust Fund (ELTF), and IDEM’s attempts to close sites while leaving in place high concentrations of hazardous substances, such as benzene, a known human carcinogen.
The litigation follows a Notice of Tort Claim filed on May 14, 2019 that outlined the claims and damages to the plaintiffs resulting from IDEM’s unlawful interpretation of ELTF statutes, which did not follow the legal requirements needed for such changes. It also follows a ruling by the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Office of Environmental Adjudication (OEA), which serves as the ultimate authority for IDEM, that IDEM’s policy was unlawful.
Taft’s legal team is led by William Wagner, Thomas Barnard, and Seth Smoker. To learn more about the class-action suit, read the Indy Politics article linked here.