Report: Family sues TVA over coal ash-related health issues

A family in Claxton has filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against TVA, alleging that coal ash from the nearby Bull Run Fossil Plant has led to numerous health issues among all four of its members.

As first reported by WBIR-TV, Cruze and Amber Tucker have filed the lawsuit in Anderson County Circuit Court and are seeking compensatory damages up to $30 million for the health problems, as well as punitive damages. The lawsuit asks for a jury trial.

The Tuckers live close to Bull Run, and allege that the toxic residue from coal combustion has led to “lung, skin, sinus and other health problems” in all four family members, according to the suit, and that the two young children also have neurological and other issues. In addition to alleging that they were exposed not only through the environment, they also say they were exposed by a relative who worked as a subcontractor for TVA and routinely brought the coal ash into contract with the children when he would visit the home.

The TVA Board of Directors voted last year to close Bull Run by the end of 2023 as part of a shift away from generating electricity by burning coal.

The impending closure and a TVA proposal to reroute a creek on the Claxton property in order to build a 60-acre coal ash landfill on the site will be discussed on Tuesday, February 18th, beginning at 4 pm, when the Anderson County Commission holds a public hearing on those matters. We have more about the meeting on our website at

According to WBIR, the Tuckers are represented by a trio of Knoxville area lawyers who also represent sickened Kingston workers, who allege they became ill due to wrongdoing and negligence on the part of Jacobs Engineering.

The first group of plaintiffs won a favorable verdict in November 2018 in the first phase of a two-part trial, but they won’t get monetary damages unless they can prove exactly what caused their specific illnesses, according to a report from the Associated Press. That second phase is on hold after the judge, alluding to workers’ urgent need for medical care, ordered mediation. No settlement has been announced.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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