Group of Fort Smith residents sue Whirlpool

FORT SMITH (AP) - Three lawsuits filed in Sebastian County this week target the Whirlpool Corp., which operated a plant at Fort Smith until a year ago.

Homeowners and landlords are worried about a chemical used at the plant between the 1960s and the 1980s. The state and Whirlpool reached an agreement on remediation efforts in 2001, but Whirlpool this year asked for a ban on new wells near the site.

The plaintiffs are seeking funds to restore their property and also punitive damages.

Whirlpool said in a statement Friday that it is ready to defend itself against any lawsuits and that it is continuing to work with state regulators on remediation. It also said it will monitor the site to assure residents they were not exposed to trichloroethylene (TRY-clo-ro-ETH-uh-leen).

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