Precision Castparts Corp.
Resendez, et al. v. Precision Castparts Corp. and PCC Structurals, Inc.
Case No. 16CV16164
Multnomah County Circuit Court, State of Oregon
The hearing on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification was held on August 14, 2020. Judge Ryan has not yet issued his order but has taken the matter under advisement. The next status conference in the action is set for October 19, 2020 at 9:30 am.
On July 8, 2016 Keller Rohrback L.L.P. and the Law Office of Karl G. Anuta, P.C. filed a class action lawsuit against Precision Castparts Corp. and PCC Structurals, Inc. (collectively “PCC”) on behalf of residents and businesses in Portland affected by high levels of toxic materials allegedly emitted from PCC facilities as particulate matter in the Portland Metro area. On September 9, 2016, the court consolidated the case with another class action against PCC filed by the law firms Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC and Smith & Lowney, PLLC, and on October 14, 2016, the firms together filed a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint.
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, including an order requiring PCC to cease the emission of air pollutants at levels that interfere with any reasonable use of the surrounding properties and neighborhood, as well as damages related to damage to area properties, like the cost of testing to determine the presence of nickel, arsenic, and other toxins, on behalf of the plaintiffs and a proposed class.
On March 29, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Class Certification, asking the Court to certify a class of owners and residents defined as:
All residents or owners of residential properties within the Precision Plume as of February 17, 2016.
The Precision Plume, defined in reference to expert modeling of PCC’s particulate emissions, is depicted here:
In February 2016, researchers at the U.S. Forest Service released data showing high levels of nickel, cadmium, arsenic, and other metals in the air around PCC’s Johnson Creek Facility. Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) has concluded that PCC is the source of the nickel hotspot in this neighborhood, which has the highest concentrations in the Portland Metro area.
Additionally, DEQ has found a significant plume of chlorinated solvents in the groundwater under PCC’s Johnson Creek Facility. This groundwater supplies water to the City of Milwaukie, which has drinking water supply wells within a mile of the PCC Johnson Creek Facility. DEQ and the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (“BES”) have also found polychlorinated biphenyl (“PCBs”) and other pollutants in pipes that discharge water into Johnson Creek from the PCC Johnson Creek Facility.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to nickel dust can cause a range of serious health risks, including cancer and reduced lung and organ function. Additionally, the Oregon Health Authority has concluded that persistent exposure to high concentrations of arsenic can cause skin, lung, or bladder cancer, and the health effects for cadmium exposure include lung cancer and kidney damage.
PCC’s own monitoring data show that they are a significant source of air and water pollution in the community. In fact, a team at the University of Massachusetts has ranked the company one of the top 20 most toxic air polluters in the country.
Class Action Complaint – 07/08/2016
Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint – 10/14/2016
Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint – 06/30/2017
Third Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint – 07/31/2017
Fifth Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint – 10/01/2019
Articles and radio stories:
PCC ranks as one of the nation’s top polluters – 08/26/2013
Meet Precision Castparts’ Worried Neighbors – 04/15/2016
Neighbors file suits against Precision Castparts – 07/13/2016
Maps showing U.S. Forest Service research:
Letter from PCC to Neighbors – 04/12/2016