Kraft to pay $8.1M to settle pollution lawsuit

AP News
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Posted: May 20, 2011 5:23 PM
Kraft to pay $8.1M to settle pollution lawsuit

Kraft Foods Inc. will pay $8.1 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over pollution at a former factory in Attica, Ind.

The lawsuit, filed in 2009 and representing nearly 130 families, claimed pollution from a former Kraft factory contaminated the groundwater beneath their homes and spread cancer-causing vapors.

A U.S. District Court judge in Indianapolis approved the settlement Friday.

In addition to the payment to the families, Kraft is required to clean up the plant site and groundwater and install mitigation systems in the affected homes. The cost of that effort was not disclosed.

Kraft said it was pleased with the outcome. While the company said it did not contribute to the conditions, it is committed to the cleanup. The company said it is working closely with local, state and federal organizations to clean up the site.

Kraft has said it did not own the plant when the chemicals were being used.

"It's a great day for these families," said Norm Berger, an attorney for the families from the law firm Varga Berger Ledsky Hayes & Casey. "It is much-needed relief for them ... and Kraft's commitment to make sure the problem is completely resolved is the responsible thing to do."

Kraft Foods shares fell 16 cents to $35.07 in after-hours trading.