For Immediate Release
March 12, 2003
Contact Donna Halinski (517) 372-4400

Wayne County Judge Rejects Class Action Against Continental Aluminum

Detroit, MI -- Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Isidore B. Torres issued an order today denying class certification in a suit against Continental Aluminum Corporation.

The plaintiffs' action arises from the operation of Continental Aluminum's plants in Detroit and Lyon Township beginning in the 1980's and continuing through the present. The motion for class certification was filed in March 2001.

Continental contends the plants have complied with state and federal regulations and caused no harm to individuals within the communities.

In a critical ruling, Judge Torres agreed with Continental that the plaintiffs' claims were "unsuitable" for class action treatment, stating the plaintiffs' arguments in support of their motion for class certification are "rejected as neither legally compelling nor logically persuasive." He also said the case would not be manageable as a class action.

"Continental will continue to work hard to operate our plant in a safe manner and be productive," said company president Bill Altgilbers. "Our goal has always been to be a good standing member of the community."

Judge Torres ordered a settlement conference on April 9 at 10:00 a.m.

Last week, Oakland County Circuit Judge Fred Mester ruled that Lyon Township Acted Unconstitutionally. Judge Mester ruled the Township's zoning ordinance, under which the Township attached conditions to Continental Aluminum's right to restore it's building to pre-existing status following a fire, is unconstitutional. Continental filed a lawsuit challenging the conditions. The ruling confirmed that Continental had a reasonable basis to restore its building absent compliance with the unconstitutional conditions.

Continental Aluminum recycles various grades of aluminum scrap into products for the automotive and steel industries. The company melts raw materials consisting of aluminum scrap from reclaimed windows, radiators, cars and machinery parts, and other metal scrap that contains aluminum.