Proposed settlement reached between Whirlpool, Fort Smith property owners over contamination

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FORT SMITH, Arkansas — Whirlpool Corp. has agreed to a proposed settlement with property owners in a class-action lawsuit that alleges groundwater contamination near the company's former plant in Fort Smith.

The chemical trichloroethylene, or TCE, was used as a degreasing solvent between the late 1960s and early 1980s at the plant, which closed in 2012. Last summer, the Sebastian County Assessor's Office reduced the property values of 55 parcels because of the contamination.

The Southwest Times Record reports ( ) a joint motion seeking settlement was filed Thursday. According to the proposal, property owners who live within a certain area will receive compensation equal to the property devaluation. Class-action members who live outside the area but saw their property values drop will receive $5,000.

Whirlpool's Jeff Noel calls the proposal "an extremely fair resolution."

Information from: Southwest Times Record,

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