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Plaintiffs Receive Settlement Payments From 2002 Chemical Explosion

Diaz Chemical Company reaches settlement with Holley residents.
It was December 2002, when a disaster struck the village of Holley in Orleans County.
"There was an explosion. The Diaz Chemical Company claimed to be a pharmaceutical company, they were not they did very dangerous work," said Andrew Saul, a plaintiff.
As a chemistry teacher Andrew Saul knows a thing or two about chemicals.
Saul said Diaz bromated hydrocarbons which created a deadly gas.
In 2002, he lived a block and a half away from the plant.
"Chemicals spattered over several streets in Holley and they could smell it in Hilton," said Saul.
No one died but many have claimed breathing problems and cancer following the spill.
Now more than a decade later, the company has settled.
"In the end individual citizens stood up and said no," said Saul.
After legal fees just more than 100 plaintiffs are splitting about $139,000.
"Glad it's over we hoped for more but there's not much you can do about it," said Jerry Baron, a plaintiff.
Jerry Baron and her sister Ellen Germeo are both in their 80's  and still live in their home which is yards from the former plant.
"It should have never have been in the village," said Baron.
They will each get about 11-hundred dollars a piece.
To this day they live with breathing problems and a purifier only does so much.
"We are getting something but it will never pay for what we have been through and the consequences of the chemicals for 30 years has taken a toll on the whole village," said Ellen Germeo, a plaintiff.
In september 2012 the EPA finalized a plan on how to clean up the soil and groundwater contamination.
Saul said the plan does not do enough though because it would only clean up under the site..
For now, the recent settlement shows it takes a village to fight.
"At the end of the day we won," said Saul.
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