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Richmond residents file class-action lawsuit against warehouse owner

RICHMOND, Ind. (WISH) — Residents affected by the fire at a warehouse and the subsequent evacuation of their homes have filed a class-action lawsuit against Seth Smith and his company Cornerstone Trading Group LLC.

The plantiffs in the suit are residents whose properties are located in proximity to the plastic recycling facility at 308 N.W. F St. in Richmond, which burned on April 11.

The lawsuit blames Smith and the facility’s long history of unsafe building orders and fire hazard reports issued by the Wane County recorder.

The lawsuit also alleges that the company knew the hazards existed, but failed to take action to correct the unsafe conditions.

The fire caused approximately 2,000 residents to be evacuated from their homes and numerous businesses were forced to cease operations, according to the lawsuit.

This resulted in loss of income and profits as well as health issues due to the inhalation of noxious gases and smoke, according to court documents.

Residents also allege they have experienced a rapid decline in the value of their property since the fire.

The lawsuit asks for an amount in excess of $25,000 damages.