Judge opposes class action in TVA coal ash suits - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Judge opposes class action in TVA coal ash suits

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Hundreds of people are suing the Tennessee Valley Authority for damages from the utility's huge coal ash spill in East Tennessee and a federal magistrate says the suits should remain separate.

U.S. Magistrate Bruce Guyton has recommended that the court deny a plaintiff lawyer request for class action status.

The federal court in Knoxville has previously ruled that TVA is not liable for punitive damages and that the suits will be decided from the bench, not by jurors, if they go to trial as now scheduled in September.

TVA spokeswoman Barbara Martocci said Thursday that TVA is pleased with the magistrate's recommendation against granting class action status.

Attorneys for some of the 457 plaintiffs in 50 lawsuits did not return telephone messages seeking comment Thursday.

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