BP to Settle Sugar Creek Refinery Lawsuits

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BP to Settle Sugar Creek Refinery Lawsuits

SUGAR CREEK, Mo. -- BP will settle 28 lawsuits remaining here that relate to the former Amoco Sugar Creek Refinery out of court, the Examiner reported.

The major oil company and the plaintiffs agreed to resolve all lawsuits that alleged residents were exposed to toxic substances from the refinery, according to a statement by attorney Lon Walters, who represented the plaintiffs.

Neither side would release terms of the settlement, the report stated.

While jury selection was slated to begin today, two days of settlement hearings will be held before Jackson County Circuit Judge Marco Roldan instead, the newspaper reported.

Of the total 31 cases related to the refinery, only one against the company went to trial, according to the report. In 2005, Leonard Ryan, whose wife died from leukemia, was awarded $13.3 million plus undisclosed punitive damages, the report stated.

Two other cases were settled by BP out of court for undisclosed settlements -- the first in 2006, involved resident Justin Detel, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and the second in 2007, with Sean Reed, a former resident, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia in 1985 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation as a child, the report stated.

Amoco and its predecessor, Standard Oil Co., operated the 430-acre refinery from 1904 to 1982, when it was closed. The contaminated soil has since undergone cleanup, according to the report.