Nashville at law: Neighbors sue over ‘illegal dump’

Monday, July 21, 2008 at 3:29am
Three local landowners are accusing a local company of polluting area property, including this waterfall.

Here are some civil legal cases of note for the week of July 10-16:

United States District Court

Marion Crigler, Fred Takacs and Mary Jane Dewey v. Greg Richardson, Carroll M. Richardson, Richardson Investments LLC, Metro Environmental Services LLC and Michael Carver. Filed July 14.

The three landowners claim that a neighboring property on Clarksville Highway has been used as an "illegal dump." They accuse the property owners and tenant of violating the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Clean Water Act.

The runoff has killed all aquatic life in a nearby stream, the lawsuit claims. The filing includes an especially graphic photo of a waterfall showing "a crusted stalactite of pollution consisting of waste that has leached off the Richardson property." Plaintiff's attorney: Elizabeth L. Murphy of Nashville.

Davidson County Circuit Court

• Scott Ray Abraham v. Frank R. Mitchell and Waste Industries Inc. Filed July 11. Abraham "was lying on the ground asleep behind the business Worm's Way" in Goodlettsville at 5:33 one morning in May of this year when Mitchell's Waste Industries truck ran into him, the complaint says. He accuses Mitchell of driving "in a heedless and careless manner," causing injuries that resulted in "undue emotional duress, loss of earning capacity, lost wages and the loss of ability to participate in and enjoy the pleasures of life."

Criminal Court records show that Abraham, 35, has been arrested four times in the past couple of years for pedestrian solicitation. The month before this accident, he was charged with public intoxication after police said he was observed in an "extremely intoxicated" state wandering in and out of traffic on an Antioch street. Plaintiff's attorney: Billy J. Marlowe of Nashville.

• Christina Dirasian v. Gilbert D. Ezell M.D., Summit Medical Center and unidentified John Doe nurse. In the healthcare field, accidentally leaving a foreign body in a patient after surgery is known as a "never event" — an error so profound that it should never happen, and one that indicates "a real problem in the safety and credibility of a health care facility," according to the National Quality Forum.

Dirasian says a "never event" happened to her at Summit. During surgery last July, her lawsuit claims, Dr. Ezell left "a piece of the French scope or other foreign body" in her abdomen. After months of pain, she underwent surgery again in December to have the item removed. She seeks compensatory damages of $300,000 and punitive damages of $100,000. Plaintiff's attorney: Tim L. Bowden of Goodlettsville.

• Ana R. Padilla v. Xelica LLC. Filed July 11. The widow of a murder victim sues the business where he was killed after surprising an intruder when he showed up for work. Jose Joaquin Sanchez, 46, was gunned down in the early morning of July 13, 2007. No arrest has yet been made in the case.

Sanchez had been a mill worker at Xelica, a maker of custom doors and windows on Merritt Avenue in south Nashville, for two and a half years. Padilla claims the company is located in a high-crime area and "did not have the proper fencing or restraints to keep out trespassers." She also says Xelica is to blame for requiring Sanchez to work alone in the early morning hours without security. The lawsuit seeks wrongful death damages of $2 million. Plaintiff's attorneys: H. Tom Kittrell Jr. and T. J. Jones of Nashville.

• Amy Maddry v. Foodstaff of Nashville Inc., ClubCorp USA Inc. and Nashville Club Management Inc. Filed July 10. Maddry claims she was subjected to sexual harassment at the Nashville City Club while working there as an employee of staffing firm Foodstaff. She says she lost her job after complaining about the conduct. The lawsuit seeks $500,000 in damages. Plaintiff's attorneys: Stephen C. Crofford and Mary A. Parker of Parker & Crofford, Nashville.

Filed under: City Business