JERSEY CITY – A federal court judge will decide on Sept. 24 whether to approve a settlement in which $10 million from the Honeywell corporation would be divided amongst Jersey City homeowners who filed a class action lawsuit over chromium contamination, according to nj.com.
Homeowners eligible to participate on the settlement live in Society Hill and neighboring communities running from Claremont Avenue in the north to Newark Bay in the west, Danforth Avenue to the south and Kennedy Boulevard in the east.
They must opt-in to the settlement to receive money, estimated at about $2,000 per homeowner, or opt-out but retain their right to file an individual claim, Honeywell officials said. Residents who do nothing will not receive funds from the settlement, and won’t have the right to make a claim later, officials said.
Honeywell will put $10 million into a pool for homeowners who participate in the settlement of the lawsuit, which was filed in May 2010.
The chromium sites are properties along Route 440 where chromium chemical products were made and chromium ore processing residue was disposed between about 1895 and 1954.
A dirty deal?
Sierra Club of New Jersey Director Jeff Tittel, who called the settlement “as dirty as the soil in most of Jersey City,” noted that hexavalent chromium is extremely toxic and can cause lung cancer, other forms of cancer and other health issues such as birth defects.
Steve German, an attorney representing the residents, pointed out that the settlement does not impair anyone’s right to bring an individual lawsuit for personal injury or any other claim as a result of any bodily exposure to chromium.
The court will hold a hearing on Sept. 24, 2015 at 11 a.m. on final approval to the settlement. If the court approves the settlement, and the claims administrator has determined a claimant is valid, participants should be paid within 15 days after the settlement is final.
To “opt out,” send a letter to the Claims Administrator with your name and address, names and current addresses of any co-owners of land you own or owned identified as being in the settlement class, and a statement saying that you want to be excluded from the class action settlement, and the document must include your signature. Mail your exclusion request, postmarked no later than July 31, 2015, to: Honeywell Jersey City Claims Administration, c/o GCG, PO Box 10122, Dublin, OH 43017-3122.