Orange County

Lawsuit alleging contamination by OUC power plant dropped by plaintiff

ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal case alleging that Orlando Utilities Commission Stanton Energy Center had damaged properties with contamination was dismissed last week, the company announced Monday.

“We are pleased with the Plaintiffs’ decision to dismiss the case, and we hope that the withdrawal of their claims and termination of the lawsuit will provide our customers and neighbors with peace of mind,” OUC general manager and CEO Clint Bullock said in a news release.

In 2018, residents near the plant around Stoneybrook, Avalon Park and Eastwood filed a federal class-action lawsuit claiming the plant was pumping out dangerous cancer-causing toxins. The plant burns natural gas and coal.

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According to a survey from the Department of Health, OUC’s Stanton Energy Center is within normal, expected radiation levels for the state, and there is no evidence to substantiate a cancer cluster.

The court’s order, which terminates the lawsuit, was issued in response to the plaintiff’s request to dismiss their claims against OUC, the company said.

“This request for dismissal was a voluntary and unilateral decision by Plaintiffs to abandon their claims -- it was not based on any settlement or agreement with OUC,” Bullock said.

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“From the outset, OUC has been confident that Plaintiffs’ claims were unsupported by any sound science and inconsistent with data reported by the Florida Department of Health,” Bullock said. “(The) Plaintiffs’ request to dismiss this lawsuit with prejudice fully confirms that their claims had no merit.”

OUC has also filed a motion with the Federal Court of Appeals to vacate an earlier ruling from the federal district court that OUC believed was “incorrect,” Bullock said.

“While that earlier ruling is no longer important to this case because of the dismissal Order, OUC believes that it should be vacated because future litigants might attempt to rely on it, he said in the news release.

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Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.