Mountaire settles in one of two lawsuits

Water contamination settlement confidential
February 20, 2020

Mountaire has reached a settlement with 106 Sussex County residents in one of two lawsuits that had been filed against the poultry plant in connection with water contamination.

“This settlement allows our clients to hopefully turn the page and continue on with their lives. We thank Mountaire for doing the right thing and recognizing that these families, many of whom lived in the shadow of the Mountaire plant, deserved compensation,” the statement from Jacobs & Crumplar reads.

The statement provides no detail on the compensation, stating the parties agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential.

Jonathan Nace, a co-counsel in the case, said the settlement will allow his clients to move forward and ensure that they are protected and compensated for problems with their drinking water.

“This was only made possible because the community rallied together and offered us the privilege of fighting for them in court,” Nace said.

The Crumplar case was the second lawsuit filed against Mountaire; this one was filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington on behalf of Joseph and Joan Balback, who said Mountaire's spray irrigation practices has contaminated drinking and tap water for residents living near the Millsboro plant on Route 24.

The first lawsuit was filed in Delaware Superior Court by Gary and Anne-Marie Cuppels, who are represented by attorney Chase Brockstedt. The Cuppels’ lawsuit is a class-action suit including more than 700 complainants who live near Mountaire. All say their drinking water was also contaminated by Mountaire. The Cuppels allege that they were hospitalized from drinking contaminated water.