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Herrington v. Leaf River Forest Products Inc.

February 25, 1999

BRANDI HERRINGTON
v.
LEAF RIVER FOREST PRODUCTS, INC., A FOREIGN CORPORATION; WARREN RICHARDSON, AN INDIVIDUAL; ACKER SMITH, AN INDIVIDUAL; LEAF RIVER CORPORATION, A FOREIGN CORPORATION; GREAT NORTHERN NEKOOSA CORPORATION, A FOREIGN CORPORATION; AND GEORGIA PACIFIC CORPORATION, A FOREIGN CORPORATION, SUCCESSOR OF GREAT NORTHERN NEKOOSA CORPORATION



Before Pittman, P.j., Smith And Mills, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mills, Justice

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/29/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JAMES W. BACKSTROM

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: JONES COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - PERSONAL INJURY

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 2/25/99

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

¶1. Appellant Brandi Herrington brought a civil action against Leaf River Forest Products, et. al. in the Circuit Court of Jones County, Mississippi. After recusal of the trial Judge, the action was transferred to Jackson County. Herrington's action was one of hundreds brought against Leaf River Forest Products complaining that its pulp mill discharged 2,3,7,8-tetra-chlorodibenzo-p-dioxin ("dioxin") into the Leaf River in Perry County. The trial court granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Leaf River Forest Products and stated that those plaintiffs with physical injury, including Herrington, had claims which lacked legally sufficient evidence to show their exposure or the mill's release of dioxin into the Leaf River. The court stated, ". . .such Plaintiffs have no medical or scientific evidence that their diseases were caused by dioxins or other chemicals of the kind discharged by the Leaf River Mill." From the lower court's grant of summary judgment, Brandi Herrington appeals assigning the following as error:

I. WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING HERRINGTON'S MOTION FOR A STAY OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE AN EXTENSION BEFORE RULING ON THE SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION.

II. WHETHER THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF LEAF RIVER FOREST PRODUCTS, INC.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

ΒΆ2. Brandi Herrington lived in her father's cabin and later in her grandmother's cabin, both on the Leaf River near New Augusta, Mississippi, from 1983 through 1989. During this period, Herrington alleges Leaf River Forest Products, Inc. released dioxin into the Leaf River. Both cabins were approximately one and a half river distance miles downstream from the Leaf River pulp mill. Herrington's father often fished in the river, and she frequently ate the fish he caught. When deposed, however, Herrington's father stated that after the mill started up and the water became smelly, he went above the mill to fish and never fished below the mill again. Any contaminants from fish caught above the mill cannot be ...


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