MUSCATINE, Iowa — Jim Larew, an Iowa City attorney gathering plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Grain Processing Corp., said Tuesday that plaintiffs’ attorneys “don’t try cases in the press.”
“Our hope and our belief is that we have established the right team for this particular litigation,” he said on Tuesday afternoon before having seen GPC’s filing.
Larew said more than 100 Muscatine residents have agreed to join the lawsuit, filed Monday, April 23. He declined to discuss the financial arrangements for the contingency fee agreement, but said he and the other attorneys are careful to explain the agreement to potential plaintiffs.
“I think there is the sense that an individual standing alone might have a different outcome than a group standing together,” he said. “There is the sense of collective rising courage” among plaintiffs, he said.
Larew, who worked as chief of staff for former Gov. Chet Culver, said that in his experience, businesses looking to expand or move to a community are looking for clean water, access to railroad transportation, proximity to urban areas, good schools, educated workers — and clean air.
“You look at Muscatine and say, it’s all there but the clean air,” he said. “When you have this kind of air quality problem, Muscatine becomes for them a flyover community.”
He said plaintiffs have told him “something more is needed” than government protection from sources of pollution.
“It’s not just GPC,” he said. “We can all do better.”