Monday, February 26, 2018, Ronnie G. Penton presented checks totaling $578,928.54 to the City of Bogalusa and the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office pursuant to an Order by 22nd JDC District Judge Richard Schwartz. The City of Bogalusa received $216, 981.00 on behalf of the Bogalusa Police Department and $216,947.54 on behalf of the Bogalusa Fire Department. The Washington Parish Sheriff's Office received $145,000.00.
The payouts recognized the first responder efforts of the three agencies. Mayor Wendy Perrette and Sheriff Randy Seal accepted the checks from Penton, who was a prominent attorney representing plaintiffs in the aftermath of the 1995 release of nitrogen tetroxide from a railroad tank car in Bogalusa, Louisiana on October 23, 1995. The tank car was leased to and on the premises of Gaylord Chemical Corporation. Beginning on October 23, 1995 and continuing for the next two days, the city called for the evacuation or shelter-in-place of affected sectors of Bogalusa.
Health effects were widespread and numerous lawsuits followed. Class actions on behalf of 16,600 persons in Louisiana and 4,000 in Mississippi consolidated most of the lawsuits.
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