Proposed Legislation Coming Under Fire From Some Gulf County Residents

Some Port St. Joe residents showed up at the state Capitol in Tallahassee on Wednesday, protesting a bill that would limit certain kinds of class action lawsuits.

The protestors are part of a group which has a class action lawsuit pending against the St. Joe Company. They claim that prior to the 1950s the St. Joe Company polluted the land just north of the old St. Joe Paper Mill. Then in the 1950s, developers built a neighborhood known as Mill View on the site.

Some of the residents blame the pollution from the mill for an unusually high death rate. The group is protesting proposed legislation which would eliminate law suits like theirs.

Eddie Fields was one of those at the Capitol.

"As far as I am concerned, the little person, the little man is going to be squashed by corporate industry if this bill becomes law. They won't have a chance singly, especially in our neighborhood. They just won't stand a chance," he says.

The residents of Port St. Joe did not get a chance to testify on the bill on Wednesday, but promise they will be back to be heard.