Class-action status granted to about 300 property owners in Cocke County, Tennessee, who are suing the former Blue Ridge Paper Products mill in Canton, North Carolina, for damages allegedly stemming from polluting the Pigeon River

LOS ANGELES , April 30, 2012 () –

A judge has granted class-action status to about 300 property owners who are suing for damages allegedly caused by the former Blue Ridge Paper Products Inc. mill in Canton, North Carolina, polluting the Pigeon River, reported Local 8 News on April 30.

The long-standing case stems from concern over possible pollution from the mill when it was owned by Champion International Corp. The mill was sold to Blue Ridge Paper Products and is now owned by Evergreen Packaging Group.

Judge Ronnie Greer scheduled the trial to begin this October and ordered that property owners be notified that they have the right to be included or excluded from the class action lawsuit, Local 8 News reported.

The plaintiffs claim that the mill’s waste discharges into the river upstream in Canton creates a nuisance, said Gordon Ball, the attorney representing the property owners’ group, which own land along the river in Cocke County, Tennessee.

The Blue Ridge Paper mill did not respond to a request for comment, reported Local 8 News.

The mill makes more than 100,000 tons a year of food service paperboard, including cup stock and polyethylene terephthalate stock for ovenable trays, according to Memphis, Tennessee-based Evergreen Packaging’s website.

Evergreen Packaging Group, which was formed when Evergreen Packaging Inc. and Blue Ridge Paper Products combined in 2007, is backed by New Zealand-based Rank Group and is part of Reynolds Group Holdings Ltd., a global leader in consumer food and beverage packaging and storage products, Evergreen’s website states.

The primary source of this article is Local 8 News, WVLT Volunteer TV, Knoxville, Tennessee, on April 30, 2012.


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