LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A woman has filed class-action lawsuit against GE and Derby Industries, claiming the companies' negligence caused
, resulting in her home being contaminated by soot and ash.
The plaintiff, Alex Ruiz, lives on De Priest Court, just west of GE Appliance Park on Buechel Bank Road. The suit states that on April 3, when Building 6 of the plant caught fire, she and other residents suffered extensive property damage.
"While the cause of the fire is still being investigated, local emergency responders described the event as the largest fire in Jefferson County history," the suit states. "More than 200 firefighters from across the country participated in extinguishing the flames and controlling the damage. The fire continued to burn for two days, sending clouds of thick black smoke into surrounding neighborhoods that could be seen miles away. Particles of soot and ash from the fire fell on hundreds of nearby homes and businesses, causing property damage to real estate, automobiles, plants, wildlife, crops, clothing, furniture and other items."
The suit alleges that the negligence of defendants GE and Derby Industries was responsible for the fire, which represented a nuisance to the surrounding neighborhood. Toxic smoke, ash and particulate matter that descended on nearby homes as a result of the fire also represented a "trespass" by GE and Derby Industries, according to the suit.
In addition to Ruiz, the class-action lawsuit also requests relief for other plaintiffs who were living within a radius of two miles of the fire, and were subject to a Shelter in Place Order anytime between April 3 and April 5.
The lawsuit, among other things, is seeking unspecified compensation for the plaintiffs' expenses incurred from the cleanup of their property, punitive damages, attorney fees and other expenses.
On Tuesday afternoon, WDRB News obtained a written statement about the lawsuit, issued by GE spokesperson Kim Freeman.
"We have not seen the complaint so we cannot comment on it," Freeman wrote. "However, we want to apologize to any neighbors who may have experienced inconvenience and unpleasantness such as bad odors and ash landing on their property as result of the fire. We are working quickly to address any issues they may have. We have established a resource for affected residents to call and distributed it on Sunday to local officials and MetroSafe and are also in the process of reaching out to the neighborhoods surrounding Appliance Park directly. Anyone experiencing debris or property damage as a result of the fire at GE Appliance Park on Friday should call (888) 456-7445."
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