After the end of a half-hour hearing in federal court on Monday, the presiding judge removed his black robe, stepped down from the bench and chatted with the attorneys and the plaintiffs who were present.
After nearly six years, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Geoffrey Crawford said he wanted to personally say goodbye to the people involved in the high-profile case, which had just finally been resolved.
Indeed, the hearing made it official: Bennington-area residents who sued a multinational plastics company for contaminating their soil and water will receive financial compensation and medical monitoring.
On Monday morning, Crawford approved the $34 million settlement agreement that the complainants and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation reached in November. The final approval came three weeks before the class-action suit’s sixth anniversary.
‘There were times in the past six years when it felt that today would never come,’ Marie-Pierre Huguet, the widow of one of the plaintiffs, Sandy Sumner, said at the hearing in Rutland.