Husky Settles For $1.05 Million; Evacuees Would Be Eligible For Compensation
Another step of the clean-up process after the 2018 Husky Energy refinery explosion has concluded; the company has agreed to a settlement in the class action lawsuit totaling $1.05 million - a number that would be shared between evacuees who file a claim.
While approval is still pending on the settlement, the three plaintiffs and the defendant are expected to sign off on the measure. According to an article in the Superior Telegram, "Jasen Bruzek, Hope Koplin, and Christopher Peterson [agreed to the settlement with] defendant Superior Refining Co." The next step is the signature of judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
Now that an agreement is on the table, what does that mean for residents of Superior?
"Court documents estimate nearly 21,000 people over 18 are eligible to file a claim, but the settlement funds would only be able to fulfill 5,833 claims at $150 per person. A household would be eligible for up to $300. Under certain circumstances, individuals may receive up to $200 and households up to $400."
The discrepancy in the math stems from the need for administrative and notice costs (i.e. things like postage and advertising), and the pay out of $6,000 to the "people who originally filed the lawsuit". Any leftover funds would be charitably given to the Superior-Douglas County Family YMCA.
Fallout from the Husky Energy explosion on April 26, 2018 represented one of the largest evacuations in the city's history - second only to the Nemadji spill in 1992. Most residents within a two mile area of the refinery plant were evacuated due to the "fear of a hydrogen fluoride release". It's worth noting that none actually escaped the tank during the explosion and resulting fire.