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Regional & National

Brockovich visit to Roane County could signal class-action lawsuit against TVA

January 8th, 2009 12:00 am by Staff Report

Erin Brockovich's arrival in Roane County is expected to draw a crowd. But the prospect of a class-action lawsuit by the New York law firm that's accompanying her is raising some concern, reports the Knoxville News Sentinel.

"The minute we take legal action as a community, we will lose the ability to talk and negotiate with TVA directly," businessman Randy Martens said. "Our relationship with TVA will become purely adversarial and all dialogue will be handled by high-priced lawyers."

Martens, owner of Credit Card Equipment Corp., is among business people putting together a list of needs to present to TVA in the wake of a sludge spill on Dec. 22

Brockovich will hold a press conference in Lenoir City today and a public meeting Friday at Roane State Community College with representatives of the Weitz & Luxenberg law firm.

Martens said he was curious when he heard of Brockovich's impending visit but became concerned when he called the firm and a staffer told him the visit was to explore a class-action lawsuit. "I said, 'Why start so soon,' and she said, 'Now is the time.' "

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