Hundreds of people have sued the Tennessee Valley Authority ahead of a deadline for filing personal injury claims over a massive coal ash spill.
Court clerks said 20 federal lawsuits were filed in Knoxville ahead of Tuesday's one-year deadline.
They are the lastest suits stemming from the Dec. 22, 2008, spill and ensuing cleanup of toxin-laden muck that breached a holding pond at the authority's coal-fired Kingston plant.
TVA President Tom Kilgore has said the nation's largest public utility will go to court "looking to defend ourselves." The utility contends in court that it provides a government service and is immune from such claims.
The utility has said it is giving the Kingston area a total of $43 million.