WAYNE - Three Wayne County citizens have filed suit against five companies over a spill that they say polluted the environment and caused the evacuation of about 500 homes.

Ewell and Mary Shuff and Cody Ramey entered the lawsuit Aug. 25 into Wayne Circuit Court against TechSol Chemical Co., Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Rescar, Inc., Sloss Industries Corp. and GATX Financial Corp., as well as any responsible entities unknown at this time.

The complaint says each was responsible for an Oct. 28, 2004, incident where 22,000 gallons of Coal Tar Light Oil was spilled into storm sewers and a creek near the residences of the plaintiffs, causing them respiratory irritation and other physical injuries, as well as anxiety, annoyance and inconvenience.

"On Oct. 28, 2004, each plaintiff was vested with certain rights, including the safe use of the reasonably usable airspace above the ground wherein each plaintiff enjoyed employment status, invitee status, tenancy rights or possessory or ownership interests in real property," the complaint says. "The acts and omissions of Defendants… constitute actual entry, or the equivalent of entry, into the evacuation area resulting in actual interference with the legal rights of each plaintiff."

Marathon Ashland Petroleum is being sued because it is in the business of purchasing, transporting and selling CTLO.

TechSol Chemical Co. is being sued for allegedly botching the unloading of the CTLO from a railcar.

Rescar, Inc., is being sued for not maintaining the railcar properly.

Sloss Industries is being sued as the seller of the CTLO.

GATX Financial Corp. is being sued for leasing the railcar to Marathon.

The plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages. The complaint charges the defendants with tort of private nuisance, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional harm, tort of trespass, negligence, liability and negligent interference with the personal and real property rights of the plaintiffs.

Huntington attorney Michael Woelfel is representing the plaintiffs.

Judge Darrell Pratt has been assigned the case.

Wayne Circuit Court case number 06-C-188

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