South Sioux residents affected by overpowering smell, file tort claim against the city
Nine months after being forced from their homes by a terrible odor, more than a dozen South Sioux Citians have started legal proceedings.
Those disgruntled residents said they were forced out of their homes for months by the overpowering smell of hydrogen sulfide. And now they've filed what are called political subdivision tort claims against the city.
17 residents have filed a tort claim against the city. We obtained those documents that were filed yesterday Tuesday morning.
Those documents state residents were affected by hydrogen sulfide that was linked to Big Ox Energy. They're seeking compensation, up to a million dollars in some cases, for personal injuries and property damages. Residents claim they sustained respiratory problems, lung injuries, headaches, anxiety, tension and depression. The documents also claim the city failed to discharge multiple operations- level duties owed by it to residents. The claims cover a period from October 24th of last year to the present day. Dave Domina, an Omaha attorney who is representing the residents says the city is responsible for the next step in the legal process.
"During that dead time, between, the filing we made this week and the time when suit is allowed, the city can investigate, it can negotiate, it can settle the claim, or, if it prefers, it can do nothing, so that places the ball in the city of South Sioux City's court," said Domina.
Domina said the tort claims filed by each resident has a different dollar amount attached to it, depending on the extent of the damage they're claiming as a result of the odor leaking into their homes.
The dead period he mentions is mandated by law to last exactly six months. While there will be no further action against the city in that time. Domina said that dead period doesn't apply to any potential legal action against Big Ox Energy. At this time, nothing has been filed in that case.