Michigan Court Orders Review of Dow Dioxin Class Action

August 3, 2009

The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to reconsider its decision to grant class-action status in a lawsuit against Dow Chemical Co. over dioxin pollution near its Midland plant.

The court said Friday that a Saginaw County circuit judge may have misinterpreted the rules when allowing some 2,000 landowners in the Tittabawassee River floodplain to jointly sue the chemical giant.

The justices overturned the judge’s 2005 decision and ordered him to make sure the landowners meet all legal qualifications to sue as a group.

The Michigan Court of Appeals had upheld the county judge’s ruling.

Dow has acknowledged polluting the river and watershed with dioxins for much of the 20th century. Dioxins are chemical byproducts that may cause cancer.

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