WSP, a zinc factory, recently decided to drop a lawsuit it filed against a handful of Cass County, Indiana citizens.
Earlier this year, WSP, a zinc factory, filed a lawsuit against more than 30 Cass County citizens after they started asking questions about the county “selling $1.3 million worth of land to the company for $10.” However, recently WSP agreed to drop the lawsuit against the citizens in exchange for the withdrawal of the Lis Pendens the citizens filed “when it was discovered how much WSP purchased the property for.” As part of the Lis Pendens, the citizens asked the courts to “review the transaction between the county and WSP…When WSP found out about the call to action it retaliated with a lawsuit against those citizens.”
Attorney John Schwarz and Jim Brujh represented the citizens as part of the Cass County Citizens Coalition group. Schwarz said, “I don’t think it was fair for them to be involved, sued if you will, because of that…So it was a lot of stress for people. So it was nice to get the citizens out of that suit.” He added that even though the company agreed to drop the filing, there are still “three other lawsuits on the table.” One of those lawsuits argue the “county had private negotiations with WSP,” and another suit “questions the transaction of property.” The third suit was filed “regarding WSP’s construction in Cass County’s Ag Park, a space people say was specifically design for agriculture.” Schwartz said, “It’s a lot, but it’s important.” He added that the case has brought a lot of people together and that the level of community support speaks volumes.
“They’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars to hire experts and bring on some additional legal help and so on,” Schwarz said. “You want to talk about a community coming together, this is it.”
At the moment, there are two court dates scheduled for later this month for two of the three remaining lawsuits. Schwarz said that some of the citizens who are part of the coalition recently met with WSP and have a “trip scheduled to visit another one of the company’s factory’s in Alabama.” He added that the “goal of the trip is to see what the safety guards are for operations, employees, and the environment.”
Additionally, the Cass County Citizens Coalition group has an event scheduled for September 13. Dr. Rybarcyzk, an analytical and Environmental chemist, is set to be the guest speaker. He resides in Muncie, Indiana “where WSP also tried building before it was vetoed.