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Ebert v. General Mills Update

posted Jul 6, 2016, 11:24 AM by Monika Mann   [ updated Jul 6, 2016, 11:27 AM ]

The class action case, Ebert v. General Mills, has hit a wall.

In Ebert v. General Mills, Como landowners brought the case against General Mills for exposure to TCE or trichloroethylene. TCE is a commonly used industrial solvent that General Mills used its research site in the Como neighborhood between the 1940s and 1960s.  The company disposed large drums of the chemical in pits at the research site by burying it. According to a supervisor at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, General Mills disposed of 1,000 gallons of TCE each year that the research site was open. The disposal caused ground water around the site to become contaminated, leading to the area becoming a superfund site. 

Fast forward to November 2013; General Mills began testing 200 the surrounding area for TCE vapor.  A class action lawsuit was brought against General Mills in December of 2013.  Since then General Mills has continued testing in the neighborhood and has installed air-pressure system that pull TCE vapor out of soil and into open air. 

Most recently, the U.S Courts of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rejected the Class certification of the case on the grounds of the lawsuit being based on individual cases as well as there not being one cohesive class claim.

More information about the newest ruling can be found here