For years, Collierville homeowners have been subjected to the pungent odor of rotten eggs, emanating from the local landfill. They have spent years trying to get the owner of the landfill company, Eplex Ebox, to do something – anything – about the pervasive smell that has settled over their homes, but nothing has helped.
That is why two homeowners have sought the help of partner Thomas Greer in filing for a class action certification in their lawsuit against Eplex Ebox. If they are successful, any residents within a 2.5 mile radius of the landfill could join the nuisance lawsuit.
Thomas Greer spoke to FOX 13 about the case, and about the difficulties and challenges his clients have faced in trying to hold Eplex Ebox accountable for the stench. We invite you to watch the video here.
What is a nuisance claim?
Bailey & Greer’s clients have filed a “nuisance” lawsuit against Eplex Ebox – a type of claim that asserts that a company (or individual) has interfered with the plaintiff’s enjoyment of his or her own property. In the case of our current clients, the pervasive odor from the landfill has made it impossible for the residents to live comfortably. The smell is so strong it wakes them in the middle of the night, and many residents experience recurring nausea. The odor seeps into the fabric of their furniture and their cars, so they cannot open the windows. They cannot hang their clothing out to dry, or use their pools on hot days.
The odor does more than make them and their children feel sick, however. A home that cannot be enjoyed is one that cannot be sold, so there is no way to escape. If the house can be sold, it is likely to be valued at far less than the market price.
The problem is so severe that the town of Collierville itself has also filed a lawsuit. There was talk in February of pressure to close the landfill, or to seek an injunction against it as a public nuisance. The town filed its complaint in Shelby County Chancery Court in June, claiming “the landfill is an odor nuisance, noise nuisance and safety hazard to residents. It says the property has been ‘negligently’ operated. ‘Defendants (landfill operators) have caused the unnecessary release of high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide from the property/landfill and are, therefore, operating and maintaining a temporary public nuisance,’” per the Daily Memphian.
As Thomas Greer explains in the interview with FOX 13, the residents are not asking Eplex Ebox to leave; they are simply asking that the company follow industry standards by treating the materials in the landfill in such a way that the odor would be reduced, and the homeowners would be able to enjoy the property they spent their hard-earned money to buy. The lawsuit also seeks damages for the loss of enjoyment of the property. As one Collierville resident told FOX 13, residents have done everything they can think of to get the landfill owner to follow the rules, and are now trusting the courts to help them put an end to their misery.
Bailey & Greer, PLLC represents clients throughout West Tennessee. If you have questions about a potential nuisance claim against Eplex Ebox, or are in need of an experienced personal injury lawyer, please call 901-680-9777 or fill out our contact form, and schedule your free consultation at one of our offices in Memphis or Jackson.