DENVER (CBS4) – A 27-year-long legal fight with the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant has finally come to an end with a $375 million settlement.
The class action lawsuit was filed 27 years ago against Dow Chemical and Rockwell International. It’s one of the longest running cases in the United States and many of the 15,000 people involved in the lawsuit have passed away.
Those entitled to a portion of the settlement must have owned property near the former site as of June 7, 1989. That’s when the FBI raided the plant and found plutonium releases.
The money is compensation for chemical and radioactive material produced at the plant that is said to have impacted property values in the area.
Kathleen Genoff owned a condo in the impacted area. Of the total amount, Genoff believes her share could be as much as $12,000.
“I never expected to live long enough to see a settlement,” said Genoff.
The lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Merill Davidoff, said the individual settlements vary. The amounts are based on individual property values at the time of the raid in June 1989.
Davidoff said the most any of the plaintiffs will be awarded is around $20,000. The settlement does not include any compensation for health issues because there have not been any conclusive links.
Genoff hopes that will come later but for the time being, the settlement brings some satisfaction.
“I think the important thing is that the government finally acknowledges that they had an impact on the local community. I wish that they would acknowledge that there is a health impact, too. I’m more concerned about the long-term health ramifications of the plant out there,” said Genoff.