Settlements in 25 year lawsuit against Hayes Sammons to finally be paid

1 month 1 week 6 days ago Tuesday, August 15 2023 Aug 15, 2023 August 15, 2023 1:18 PM August 15, 2023 in News - Local

A lawsuit filed more than 25 years ago is finally coming to an end.

Final settlement checks will soon be going to the victims from a chemical contamination lawsuit out of Mission.

On Miller Avenue and East 8th Street, only grass remains where the Hayes Sammons warehouse once stood.

The plant stored pesticides, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says contaminants were released into the soil, affecting the health of more than a thousand people.

Maria Ester Peña Salinas says her grandson is one of them.

"My grandson has Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus, he has a calcified chin. My grandson never walked one day in his life," Salinas said.

The plant was deemed a Superfund site by the TCEQ in the late 80s. It was later torn down and a lawsuit followed.

A judge sided with the plaintiffs and ordered $8 million in restitution to be paid.

Legal issues tied up the settlement money in the courts for 25 years, the final round of payments are just beginning to be distributed.

"A lot of people are very, very upset," Salinas said.

Salinas, who is now an advocate for the victims, says the money isn't enough to pay for the care still needed for some.

For others, the money is too late.

"A lot of our friends, workers, elders who helped out, a lot all of them have died from cancer all of them," Salinas said.

More than 400 people have died since the lawsuit was filed. Attorneys say their heirs will be receiving checks on their behalf.

If you or someone you know was involved with this lawsuit and have questions about the settlements, call the hotline number at 866-231-0175.

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