Judge Limits Coal Ash Suits

A federal judge has further limited damage lawsuits against the Tennessee Valley Authority for the huge coal ash spill at TVA’s Kingston Plant west of Knoxville.

In an order Tuesday, with the first of two bench trials on the suits set Sept. 13, U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan granted TVA’s motion for summary judgments on claims seeking damages for personal injury, emotional distress and inverse condemnation.

The judge’s order is allowing the claims for property-related damages such as trespass and nuisance to go forward.

More than 50 suits are seeking damages from the Dec. 22, 2008, dam breach that spilled 5.4 million cubic yards of toxin-laden sludge in the Emory River and on land beside the coal-powered plant.

The court previously ruled against claims for punitive damages.