RALEIGH -- A federal judge has given
his final approval to a settlement that will compensate residents and
businesses evacuated after the explosion at a hazardous waste warehouse
in Apex three years ago.
the settlement, EQ Industrial Services and two other companies will pay
up to $7.85 million to settle the class-action suit. They agree to pay
$750 to each household that evacuated following the explosion and up to
$2,200 to each business that was forced to close.
business owners have until Oct. 20 to file a claim. Claims forms were
mailed to each address in the evacuation zones and are available at
As many as 15,000 residents were
forced or encouraged to leave their homes after the EQ warehouse
exploded on the night of Oct. 5, 2006. The inferno sent fireballs into
the air and a pungent cloud of smoke and chemicals through nearby
settlement includes $2.9 million in plaintiffs’ attorneys fees and
another $322,000 in expenses. The town could receive up to $85,000 for
equipment and training.
U.S. District Court Judge Earl Britt
approved a preliminary version of the settlement in July and gave his
final blessing this morning after a hearing. No one objected to the
settlement at the hearing.