Appeal In Lawsuit Over Dead Cows To Be Heard Next Month
December 6, 2017
A woman who says gas emissions from a company’s Livingston County facility killed her cattle will have her appeal heard next month.
Peggy Zlatkin owned a farm located on Cherry Blossom Road in Milford, where she kept a herd of Hereford cattle. Zlatkin filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court last year alleging that on the evening of November 17th, 2013, the Merit Energy facility on Lone Tree Road in Hartland Township emitted a large quantity of hydrogen sulfide into the air. The lawsuit alleges that the hydrogen sulfide was then transported by natural winds to her farm, killing two cows immediately and forcing her to euthanize three others.
Zlatkin voluntarily dismissed the federal lawsuit in October, and then filed it in Livingston County Circuit Court, where it was thrown out by Judge Michael Hatty. Zlatkin appealed that decision to the Michigan Court of Appeals in May, which finally set a January 10th date for oral arguments in the case. Zlatkin is seeking damages totaling $197,500 for the death of her five cows, having to move her herd to a farm in Montcalm County and veterinary expenses.
The Merit Energy facility was also at the center of an investigation into potential groundwater pollution. As the plant was being decommissioned in the fall of 2015, it was discovered that the chemical sulfolane was present in nearby soil and groundwater. The company was required to clean the site up by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Hartland Township officials say the impact to groundwater appears localized to the site and there is no evidence that residential groundwater was impacted. (JK)