L-P coughs up

  Corporate giant Louisiana-Pacific must answer, finally, to a diminutive plaintiff. Four families who successfully sued the wood-products company two years ago will now collect their $2.3 million settlement.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied the company's appeal of the original judgment, reports the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. The case centers on the small town of Olathe, in western Colorado, where the company operates a glued-waferboard plant that has violated air-emission standards since it opened in 1984. By 1987, the four families had moved out of their nearby homes due to health concerns and filed suit under the Clean Air Act. By March of 1992, that suit had finally come to court and a jury had awarded the $2.3 million settlement. Louisiana-Pacific, however, immediately appealed (HCN, 6/28/94). The EPA became involved in 1990, when it brought a separate civil suit against the polluter, also under the Clean Air Act. That case, decided in May 1993, led to a fine of $11.1 million - the largest ever for such a violation.

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