A zinc factory drops lawsuit it filed against several citizens

A zinc factory coming to Cass County has dropped a lawsuit it filed against 30 citizens.

Posted: Sep 4, 2020 12:51 AM

CASS COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—On July 22nd WSP filed a lawsuit against more than 30 citizens in Cass County. People questioned the county on selling $1.3 million dollars worth of land to the company for $10.

"We were able to reach an agreement where WSP drop the suit against the 32 individuals," said Attorney John Schwarz. "In return the Lis Pendens would be withdrawn."

A Lis Pendens is what the citizens filed when it was discoverd how much WSP purchased the property for. People were asking courts to review the transaction between the county and WSP. When WSP found out about the call to action it retaliated with a lawsuit against those citizens. 

John Shcwarz along with Jim Brujh are the attornies representing many of the people apart of a Cass County Citizens Coalition group. It's the same group that's challenging WSP.

"I don't think it was fair for them to be involved, sued if you will, because of that," Schwarz. "So it was a lot of stress for people. So it was nice to get the citizens out of that suit."

Schwarz said the company essentially agreed to drop the filing. However, he said there's still three other lawsuits on the table.

There's a lawsuit filed claiming the county had private negotiations with WSP, a lawsuit that still questions the transaction of property and a lawsuit regarding WSP's construction in Cass County's Ag Park, a space people say was specifically design for agriculture.

"It's a lot," said Schwarz. "But it's important."

While the battle is long and hard Schwarz said he has noticed some positives.

"Pretty much every segment of society that you could put together has banded together," said Schwarz. 

He said the level of support speaks volumes.

"They've raised tens of thousands of dollars to hire experts and bring on some additional legal help and so on," said Schwarz. "You want to talk about a community coming together, this is it."

Schwarz said there are two court dates set later this month for two of the lawsuits. He also said citizens apart of the coalition met with WSP on Thursday and have a trip scheduled to visit another one of its factory's in Alabama. He said the goal of the trip is to see what the safety guards are for operations, employees and the environment.

The Cass County Citizens Coaliton group also has an event set for September 13th. The guest speaker is Dr. Rybarcyzk. He's an analytical and Environmental Chemist. Rybarcyzk resides in Munice, Indiana where WSP also tried building before it was vetoed. 

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