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Local News in Brief : Class-Action Suits Filed Against SOS, Others

March 08, 1985

Residents of Sand Canyon and Agua Dulce on Thursday filed two class-action lawsuits against Space Ordnance Systems and other manufacturers, alleging that the companies polluted the areas with toxic chemicals.

The suits, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, accuse the companies of endangering the health of residents by illegally storing and disposing of toxic wastes.

Also named as defendants in the suits are Parker Aircraft, Hughes Aircraft Co., the SDI company, and the estate of Ardel Lyttle, a Santa Clarita Valley property owner who allegedly leased and sold land to the companies.

Karol Roff of Agua Dulce, who filed one of the suits, asks for payment of damages by the companies for allegedly polluting air, ground and water in the area with cancer-causing chemicals.

Two of the sites mentioned in the suits are occupied by SOS, which is under county orders to remove 1,500 barrels of toxic wastes from its Mint and Sand Canyon plants. SOS manufactures pilot ejection systems, flares and other pyrotechnic devices for military and aerospace firms.

The firm and three of its executives were accused of criminal hazardous-waste violations after a raid on its plants last March. Since then, angry neighbors have filed at least eight civil lawsuits against the company, asking for more than $35 million in damages.

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