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CMC could face class-action lawsuit

Feb 05, 2014 | 05:02 PM | Daniel Fitzgerald

Tags  Commercial Metals, CMC, shredder, shredding, lawsuit, class-action lawsuit, Eileen Rowley, Larry Pinkerton Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Commercial Metals Co. (CMC) could be facing a class-action lawsuit from a group of residents near its Tulsa, Okla., shredding facility who claim that explosions at the shredder have damaged their property.

Tulsa resident Eileen Rowley told AMM that she and several other residents are gathering evidence for a class-action suit against CMC.

Rowley alleged that the issues began shortly after CMC commissioned a 4,000-horsepower Metso Recycling-Texas Shredder in December 2011 (, Jan. 6, 2012). "We started experiencing what felt like sonic booms—loud explosions at all hours of the day and night," she said. "We couldn’t pinpoint what it was until we talked to the authorities and they told us that CMC had been running vehicles with propane tanks through the shredder."

Rowley alleged that the explosions have damaged several homes near the 27-acre facility. "We have people in our neighborhood that have homes with windows broken, some have foundation damage. One woman has had to move out of the neighborhood because her home was so severely damaged," she said. "It’s so sad that it’s come down to this, but it’s gotten to the point where there’s so much damage that people need compensation."

Rowley said that she and 14 other people are recruiting residents in a four-square-mile area around the CMC facility.

"Right now, we’ve got to have some experts come out and verify the damage," she said. "I’m trying to get records from a seismologist to see if they’ve recorded anything significant in this area. It may take a couple of months."

Pinkerton & Finn PC attorney Larry Pinkerton confirmed that he was consulting with residents about filing a class-action lawsuit, estimating that no fewer than 30 residents would eventually form part of the action.

A spokeswoman for Irving, Texas-based CMC declined to comment to AMM amid the possibility of legal action against the company.

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