Daikin settlement mired in legal challenge - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Daikin settlement mired in legal challenge

(Source: Decatur Daily) (Source: Decatur Daily)

West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority customers could see a rate hike if a legal challenge to a $5 million settlement from Daikin North America drags on for many months.

After the federal court rebuffed their objections in May and approved the Daikin settlement, attorneys representing about 300 direct and indirect customers of the water authority appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Their main argument is that a Decatur lawyer and other members of the legal team that negotiated the deal for the plaintiffs have conflicts of interest.

With further filings expected next week and a request for oral arguments already filed, the appellate court has yet to render a decision.

At the heart of the dispute is whether attorneys for three law firms — The Cole Law Firm in Decatur, the Friedman, Dazzio, Zulanas and Bowling Law Firm in Birmingham, and the Davis and Whitlock Environmental Law Firm in North Carolina — can adequately represent both the water authority and its customers in the fight to collect damages from three industrial manufacturing companies that allegedly contaminated their drinking water supply.

“At least 400 members of the class have sued the water authority, so we just don’t know whose interest these attorneys really have at heart,” attorney Will Lattimore said.

Read more at the Decatur Daily

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