Flexsteel settles Elkhart contamination suit for $6.25M

An Iowa furniture maker has agreed to pay $6.25 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged it polluted the water wells of nine homes in a northern Indiana neighborhood.

The Elkhart Truth reports Flexsteel Industries admitted no wrongdoing. The settlement was disclosed this week in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The lawsuit, filed in March 2011, alleged that from 1983 through 2007, Dygert Seating and Flexsteel, which bought the company, polluted groundwater in Elkhart with hazardous chemicals, including tricloroethylene, an industrial solvent known to cause cancer.

Indianapolis-based attorney Tom Barnard says the settlement prohibits him or his clients from discussing specifics of the case.

Karen McAtee alleged the contamination caused her biliary cancer. She died at age 49 in November 2011.

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