Erin Brockovich gives Bayou Corne residents direction

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 12:13pm

Bayou Corne residents gathered at town hall meeting to come up with a new game plan, Saturday. They've been out of the their homes now for more than seven months since a massive sinkhole formed August 3. Now they're looking at taking legal action. Environmental activist Erin Brockovich, and lawyers Thomas Girardi and Bob Bowcock broke down what residents need to next.

"They didn't feel like they were getting their questions answered immediately," Brockovich explained. "They were frightened. They didn't know what was going on. They felt that if they could reach me it was something that they could trust.".

"Finally some honesty. Finally some honesty," Kenny Simoneaux, Bayou Corne resident, exclaimed.

People living in Bayou Corne are ready to take action.

"For us it's destroyed. They destroyed our family life. Our piece of the American dream is gone," Simoneaux said.

"Where is it that you want them to live? What is it that you want them to do? You are displacing them. You are creating fear amongst them. Ease that for them, and it's not happening," Brockovich described.

Brockovich and her team explained the first step for residents is to leave their homes if they can.

"They are being told this is dangerous. Get out. They need to get out. That land those homes it's useless now," Brockovich said.

The next step is to file legal action. Girardi explained that would come in the form of lawsuits filed in state court.

Brockovich explained, "There is not going to be any quick answer for them, but it is time for them to decide to take some action. Initiate, unfortunately, some litigation, because the company isn't doing the right thing by them."

The lawyers said it could take up to two years before this case goes to trial. They hope to settle before then, but residents they say that's too long.

"My heart stopped beating. I can't even imagine staying in this dilemma for two years," Simoneaux broke down.

"Look how long it's been so far. I mean it's a slow process. Nothing is going to happen over night," Jennifer Gregoire, Bayou Corne resident, stated.

"We are not the ones that are going to hold this up. It will be Texas Brine," Brockovich said. "They could come right now and start discussing and make this right by people."

Brockovich says going forward the community has to come together, if they want to win. The community agrees.

"We are pretty strong right now together as a community," Gregoire expressed. "I believe if we stick together we could see. We'll see numbers. It will pretty much be a good outcome. "

Monday Assumption Parish officials will meet with Governor Bobby Jindal in Baton Rouge about the latest in the sinkhole situation.

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