Third lawsuit filed against New Indy over foul smell

In a press release sent to WBTV, the lawyers filing the suit call out Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner and co-owner of New Indy Containerboard.
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 2:18 PM EDT
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CATAWBA, S.C. (WBTV) - A third lawsuit has been filed against New Indy Containerboard in York County over a bad smell plaguing multiple neighborhoods.

New Indy is a paper mill the Department of Health and Control says is responsible for a rotten egg smell from parts of Union County all the way to Fort Mill. This new lawsuit claims New Indy committed negligence, trespassed in the homes of affected people and created a nuisance.

In a press release sent to WBTV, the lawyers filing the suit call out Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner and co-owner of New Indy Containerboard, to “pay attention to the problems that tens of thousands of families are experiencing.”

The lawsuit, filed by Elrod Pope Law Firm on behalf of Terri Kennedy and “all others similarly situated,” is not only asking for punitive damages, like two previous suits, but also money for medical expenses and mental suffering.

DOCUMENT: Click here to read the entire lawsuit

“Unfortunately for the citizens of York County and surrounding counties, New-Indy repaid York County’s generosity by engaging in conduct that has egregiously polluted the area and caused harm and damages to potentially over one million people,” the lawsuit states. “New-Indy has admitted in toxic release filings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) that it emitted 31,700 pounds of hydrogen sulfide, 148,400 pounds of ammonia, and over a million pounds of methanol to the atmosphere in 2019 - all before it began sending the foul wastewater to the lagoons.”

The second lawsuit against New Indy Containerboard that just about two weeks earlier. People living 30 miles from the plant in four counties have taken action – with a class-action lawsuit.

That lawsuit, called a “nuisance” action, claims New Indy is putting profits over people.

It means the stench is disrupting the lives of as many as one point six million people living near the mill.

That 30-mile radius touches from about uptown Charlotte all the way past York South Carolina.

The second lawsuit claims New Indy is polluting the air with hydrogen sulfide, sending the rotten egg stink into homes.

It goes on to call New Indy reckless, willful and wanton for its handling of the smells.

The class action asks for punitive damages and money for the injuries people have suffered, like coughing, migraines, and other health concerns.

The suit uses evidence from both the Environmental Protection Agency and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to make its case.

Both agencies have said multiple times that New Indy is the culprit.

The company is putting emissions, like hydrogen sulfide, into an “open-air lagoon” within the company’s fence line. However, the open-air part is, according to the lawsuit, causing the stink. That in addition to a switch from white paper to brown and increased productivity.

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