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U.S. Court's Ruling Allows Rocketdyne Suits to Continue

June 24, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to rehear a case involving claims of contamination by residents living near Rocketdyne's Santa Susana Field Laboratory near Simi Valley.

Boeing Co., which owns the Rocketdyne nuclear and rocket-testing laboratory in the Santa Susana Mountains, had sought the rehearing after the 9th Circuit issued a similar ruling in November.

Residents claimed, in about 300 separate lawsuits filed against Boeing and Rockwell International Corp., that toxic discharge from the site caused cancer and other illnesses.

In November, the Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that tossed out some of the residents' lawsuits on grounds the statute of limitations had run out.

The decision means that all 300 cases now would proceed to trial, said A. Barry Cappello, a plaintiffs' attorney.

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