Judge streamlining federal lawsuits over tainted river

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A federal judge wants to streamline lawsuits blaming two companies for releasing a little-understood compound from a North Carolina chemical plant into waters used by hundreds of thousands of people.
    
U.S. District Judge James Dever III has ordered five complaints consolidated into one case on behalf of water consumers and a second for Brunswick County and Wilmington's water utility.
    
The lawsuits accuse The Chemours Co. of causing harm by releasing fluorine-based products including the chemical GenX into the Cape Fear River. The Wilmington, Delaware-based company was spun off from DuPont in 2015 and both companies operate at a chemical plant near Fayetteville.
    
Dever appointed a law firm representing Flint, Michigan, residents in lawsuits over lead-tainted drinking water as one of two firms leading what could become North Carolina class-action cases.

© 2018 Associated Press


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