Plaintiffs want class-action status in Grand Lake lawsuit

Monday, October 27th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Pryor, Oklahoma-AP) -- Lawyers told a judge Tuesday that hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of property owners along Grand Lake should be added to a lawsuit accusing three Arkansas poultry companies of polluting the water.

Mayes County, Oklahoma, District Judge James Goodpaster will decide whether all lakefront property owners can make the same claims of nuisance against Tyson Foods, Simmons Foods and Peterson Farms.

Four people who own property on the northeast Oklahoma lake allege the companies' poultry operations are tainting the lake with an oily scum and excessive algae growth. They're seeking damages on allegations the pollution has depressed property values.

Attorneys for the poultry companies are also scheduled to make their opening statements Tuesday. The hearing on the lawsuit's class-action status could last three days.