Following court orders from protracted class action suit, numerous plaintiffs received $127.4 million as a result of Combustion, Inc’s disposal of hazardous waste in Livingston Parish, northwest of Walker. However, at the time the initial $127.4 million was distributed to plaintiffs, some defendants had not yet settled. As a result, a federal district judge ordered a second $9 million payout to members of the class.
However, as all citizens of Livingston Parish were affected by the actions of Combustion, Inc., the federal court ruled that some of the funds could be spent on a project that would benefit the community as a whole. Accordingly, the court ruled that $4.5 million should be distributed to those plaintiffs suffering the most serious injuries. Meanwhile, the other $4.5 million would be spent building an education center. The case is often regarded as a tremendous example of legal advocacy by the attorneys representing the plaintiffs and Livingston Parish.