Iowa Supreme Court certifies class-action in pollution case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has certified a class-action lawsuit of Muscatine residents who say pollution from an industrial plant blanketed their properties for decades.

The court on Friday unanimously upheld a judge's certification that the class will consist of residents who lived within 1.5 miles of the Grain Processing Corporation plant between 2007 and 2012, about 4,000 individuals.

Residents filed suit in 2012 alleging GPC failed to control emissions from the wet milling plant, spewing odors, dust and haze onto their land. They're seeking damages for the lost use and enjoyment of their properties.

The court rejected GPC's argument that allowing the class would deny the company the opportunity to contest whether individual members suffered damages. Justices say damages can be calculated based on a formula or by individual trials after the class case.

GPC says it's disappointed and will "determine our best legal strategy going forward."