Fallon dropped from wrongful-death lawsuit | NevadaAppeal.com
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Fallon dropped from wrongful-death lawsuit

CORY MCCONNELL

RENO – Washoe District Judge Steven Elliott has dismissed the city of Fallon from a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the father of childhood leukemia victim Adam Jernee, who died of cancer in 2001.

The decision to drop Fallon from the lawsuit came “mostly from the standpoint that they didn’t have any direct allegations against the city,” said Don Lattin, the attorney defending the city against several pieces of leukemia-related litigation.

Elliott dismissed all 19 claims against the city without prejudice, meaning the complaint can be changed and refiled.

The attorney for Adam’s father, Cal Dunlap, said he intends to do that.

“Basically, it was dismissed due to lack of specificity,” Dunlap said. “We are going to amend that complaint.”

Many of the lawsuit’s claims, such as those involving the heavy metal tungsten or JP-8 jet fuel, were dismissed as irrelevant to the city.

Others were dismissed for failure to cite any specific laws or regulations the city had broken.

Fallon is one of 34 defendants named in the wrongful-death suit.

Monday’s dismissal came less than a week after the same judge ruled against the city in consecutive motions.

On Feb. 24, Elliot denied the city’s quest for a change of venue.

Attorneys for the city had argued the case did not belong in Washoe County, but in Churchill – home of the case’s plaintiff, defendants and circumstances.

The city appealed the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court and asked the Washoe district judge to postpone proceedings until the high court could issue an opinion.

The plaintiff’s attorney agreed with the motion to stay proceedings, but Elliot ruled against it anyway, only to dismiss the city from the lawsuit altogether three days later.

City officials are waiting for an answer to a similar motion for dismissal on a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the father of Stephanie Sands, who died of childhood leukemia in September 2001.

Both wrongful-death suits were sparked by the Fallon cancer cluster in which 16 children were diagnosed with leukemia between 1997 and 2002. Three have died from the disease.

Cory McConnell can be contacted at cmcconnell@lahontanvalleynews.com