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Trial starts on damage lawsuits in TVA ash spill

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The first federal trial on lawsuits
seeking damages from the Tennessee Valley Authority's huge coal ash spill is set to start.
A bench trial on six lawsuits starts Thursday before U.S.
District Judge Thomas Varlan in Knoxville.
The lawsuits seek damages from a Dec. 22, 2008, TVA dam collapse that spilled 5.4 million cubic yards of sludge. The spill ruptured a natural gas line, disrupted power and transportation, ruined
three homes and forced a nearby residential community on the Emory
River to evacuate.
The lawsuits contend the nation's largest public utility was
negligent in constructing, maintaining and inspecting the earthen
dam at the coal-fired Kingston Plant.
Other lawsuits are set for trial in November.
Hundreds of people who feel the spill cost them have stakes in
the court fight.


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