Since 2016, Berkshire Hathaway’s Precision Castparts, a manufacturer of investment castings, forged components, and airfoil castings for use in the aerospace, industrial gas turbine, and defense industries, has been facing a lawsuit over pollution from its South Portland, Oregon, operations.
The plaintiffs, Kelley Foster, Juan Prat-Sanchez, Kirk Gayton, and Debra Taevs, allege in their suit that the “South Portland Operations release significant amounts of pollution, including arsenic and nickel, into the surrounding neighborhood. PCC’s emissions have created a hotspot of pollution in South Portland.”
The plaintiffs all live in South Portland, and cite a 2013 study by the United States Forest Service that collected tree moss as a bioindicator of air pollution.
The suit maintains that a map created by the Forest Service “demonstrate that there is a significant air pollution hotspot surrounding PCC’s South Portland Operations, where nickel, arsenic, and other hazardous air pollutants appear in high concentrations.”
As of October 2016, the lawsuit has been consolidated with a similar lawsuit by plaintiffs Brian Resendez, Rodica Alina Resendez, Michelle Francisco and Matthew Talbot that is seeking $10 million in damages.
A motion before the Multnomah County Circuit Court is seeking to certify the litigation against Precision Castparts as a class-action lawsuit, which would potentially add the residents of roughly 5,000 residential properties to the suit.
A jury trial has been tentatively scheduled for mid-July 2020.
© 2019 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.