Former Elkhart wood-recycling plant owners ordered to pay $50M

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A judge has ordered the former owners of an Elkhart wood-recycling plant to pay $50.6 million in damages to nearby residents people who contended its dust and fumes threatened their health.

U.S. District Judge Philip Simon last week ordered a default judgment against VIM Recycling Inc. and K.C. Industries and its owner Kenneth Will. Simon said that VIM Recycling’s activities caused or contributed to an imminent and substantial endangerment.

People living near the Elkhart plant complained they were experiencing severe headaches and other problems.

A message seeking comment was left for Will at a telephone number listed on court documents. In a court filing in July, Will submitted a memorandum saying the plaintiffs hadn’t established evidence the facility posed an imminent and substantial endangerment to the environment.

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