Consumer Law

Horrible Landfill Stench Wafts Into 3rd Circuit

There’s a landfill in eastern Pennsylvania whose odor, residents say, extends for 20 square miles. The Third Circuit heard arguments about whether one couple can seek damages on behalf of the entire community.

Eric Klein, an attorney for the Bethlehem Landfill Co., urged the federal appeals court to affirm dismissal, insisting that the class led by Robin and Dexter Baptiste is too big.

Last June, the Baptistes filed suit on behalf of 8,400 households that live within a 2.5-mile radius of the 224-acre landfill waste-management site. The landfill estimates the proposed class would include roughly 20,000 individuals.

When a private nuisance gets this big, Klein said, local authorities should handle the matter. An attorney with the law firm Beveridge and Diamond, Klein urged with the court to consider the financial burden that the landfill could expect with a class this big.

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