In the year since the Winston Weaver fertilizer plant fire, five lawsuits have been filed against the company alleging negligence. A lawyer representing one plaintiff says hopes of a class action suit are temporarily stalled.

The suits allege that the Winston Weaver Company failed to safely store dangerous chemicals and did not follow industry rules designed to prevent and mitigate fires, among other things. 

Thomas Wilmoth, an attorney with Crumley Roberts, says lawyers were aiming to have the cases heard together by one judge. But the judge selected by both the plaintiffs and defendants, Ed Wilson, was unseated during the last election. 

“I've been pestering the court to let us know, are they going to allow him to continue on in a special status, and hear this case and a few others that he still had? Or do we pick a new judge?" Wilmoth said. 

That bureaucratic issue has stalled the cases, and delayed the process by which a class action designation could be made. 

“We've had some bumps in the road, but we're pushing to move it as fast as we can," he said. "Because I know that there are people out there that need some help that you know, are still struggling financially because of this, and we want to make sure that we help them out.”

If Wilmoth’s case is designated class action and plaintiffs prevail, he says residents who meet certain qualifications could be eligible for financial compensation. It’s still unclear though when the case will move forward. 

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