The Hannon Law Firm, L.L.C. of Denver and Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. of St. Louis have been working for over a decade to represent children and property owners in St. Francois County for damages caused by lead contamination from the Doe Run owned mining waste. The two firms filed class actions seeking to establish a medical monitoring program for children in St. Francois County and to obtain compensation for property damages from the lead contamination in Jefferson County in May, 1999. The two class actions covered children and property owners in the area of St. Francois County inbounded by Highway 67 to the east, the Washington County line to the west, the Big River to the north, and to the south as it intersects with the Washington County line, Old Irondale Road as it intersects into Old Bismarck Road, Old Bismarck Road continuing to the northern boundary of St. Joe State Park and the northern boundary of St. Joe State Park until it intersects with Highway 67 in the east. These cases, known as the Mullins cases, were re-filed in the St. Louis Circuit Court in April 2002. The cases were filed against Doe Run resources Corporation, Fluor Corporation, Ira Rennert and the Renco Group Inc. and other defendants.
In November 2005, the St. Louis Circuit Court denied the efforts by Doe Run and the other co-defendants to transfer the cases to St. Francois County. Then in February 2004, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in State ex rel Doe Run et al. Neill, 128 S.W.3d 502 Mo. 2004) (en banc) that companion cases the firms filed for property damage from the Doe Run lead smelter in Herculaneum were properly filed in St. Louis Circuit Court. The Missouri Court of Appeals then denied Doe Run’s request to appeal the Mullins case in February 2006. The Missouri Supreme Court denied Doe Run’s request to appeal that decision in April 2006. The Hannon and Ritter firms have been proceeding with the St. Francois County actions since that time, with several of the injury cases for individual children currently set for trial March 2010.
Since 1995, the Hannon and Ritter firms have been prosecuting claims for injury to individual children, medical monitoring and property damage resulting from contamination from the lead smelter in Herculaneum, Missouri establishing law that will be also applicable to the actions the firms have filed in St. Francois County. In Meyer v. Fluor et al., 220 S.W.3d 712 (Mo. 2007), the Supreme Court of Missouri held that a claim for medical monitoring does not require proof of present physical injury and that the lower court had improperly denied class action status for the plaintiffs’ medical monitoring claims.