Marathon refinery lawsuit filed over fumes, noise

DETROIT – A federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges that fumes and noise from the Marathon refinery in southwest Detroit is causing a perpetual nuisance and damage to property and residents’ health.

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $5 million and for Marathon to abate its noise and odors. It also calls for Marathon to investigate, identify and remove contaminants from the affected neighbor’s property.

“If you live here, you pretty much get used to it, but it’s horrible for people that have breathing problems or are sick,” resident Shawn Dyson. “It’s horrible.”

Resident Denise Taylor said some days it rains black gook.

“I woke up one day and there was black stuff everywhere, all over the snow,” Taylor said.

A representative for Marathon said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Marathon has bought a lot of property near the refinery and many neighbors residing in Marathon’s backyard wish they could get the same offer.

“A lot of us are stuck over here because we don’t have anywhere else to go,” Taylor said. “We’re all low-income over here and it’s kind of hard to just get up and go.”

The lawsuit potentially involves about 1,000 residents, but could be expanded.

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