The judge overseeing the case detailed on this page has given final approval to a $3.5 million settlement.
The settlement, according to court documents, will provide $1.5 million to cover medical consultations for the roughly 7,000 people covered by the deal, i.e., the “class members,” and $1 million to cover certain monitoring, remediation and mitigation activities related to the toxic groundwater plume, including sampling and mitigation in certain class members’ homes.
Per Chief U.S. District Judge Larry A. Burns’ December 2020 order, found here, the settlement will cover anyone who resided in the following mobile home parks for at least one year between January 1, 1963 and April 13, 2020 (who are referred to in court documents as the medical consultation program subclass):
- Greenfield Mobile Estates, 400 Greenfield Drive, El Cajon, California;
- Starlight Mobile Home Park, 351 E. Bradley Avenue, El Cajon, California;
- Villa Cajon Mobile Home Estates, 255 E. Bradley Avenue, El Cajon, California.
The settlement also covers a separate group (referred to as the mobile home coach mitigation system subclass) of anyone who, as of April 13, 2020 owns a mobile home coach at one of the three aforementioned mobile home parks.
The members of the medical consultation program subclass are each entitled to one medical consultation with a doctor selected by the plaintiffs’ attorneys to receive, according to the advice of the class member’s selected physician, a history and physical exam; blood chemistry, blood count and microscopy urinalysis; kidney CT scan; and/or a liver ultrasound or MRI. Class members, according to court documents, must submit a claim for these services within two years of the settlement’s final approval on December 15, 2020.
A separate fund will be set aside for those who fall under the mobile home coach mitigation system subclass, who are entitled to receive two indoor air samples per year for two years. The results of the samples will be shared with an appropriate regulatory or government agency to assess whether additional sampling is needed or mitigation procedures are necessary, the order states. If mitigation measures are warranted, a mitigation system consisting of passive venting of the crawlspace beneath the individual’s mobile home will be installed.
According to the judge’s order, the benefit to class members amounts to roughly $300 per person, which the judge considers “a meaningful and reasonable benefit” considering the risks of proceeding to trial.
One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Jason Julius, told Law360 that the plaintiffs are “pleased” with the results of the settlement.
“The settlement is necessary to provide the residents both current and former with medical consultations so they can see if this contamination plume has in any way affected them,” Julius stated. “Additionally, we think it’s important that Ametek is moving forward with cleanup of the property so that no future residents will be affected. This resolution is important for that process.”