Hyde Park Neighborhood Files Lawsuit Against Industrial Property Owners for Hazardous Conditions

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ST. LOUIS – The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA) has filed a lawsuit involving 11 industrial properties affiliated with Shreve Automotive Plant, a long-time source of environmental concerns for the neighborhood. HPNA and the residents of Hyde Park are represented in these lawsuits by Stinson LLP, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center and Legal Services of Eastern Missouri.

The lawsuit alleges that the properties are being used in violation of the zoning code and concern buildings in disrepair, vehicles blocking sidewalk and street access and illegal dumping, and is in response to years of complaints made to the City by Hyde Park residents. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that industrial waste, toxic chemicals and other forms of improper waste disposal at these properties are in violation of both St. Louis City ordinances and Missouri environmental laws.

Photos of the nuisance properties show buildings in grave disrepair, illegal dumping of automotive debris, vehicles and debris blocking sidewalk and street access, and improper disposal of potentially toxic industrial waste.

The lawsuits against Shreve Automotive, and its affiliantes, are just the latest action the Hyde Park neighborhood has taken against several long-standing nuisance properties in the community. “Hyde Park is on the cusp of a historic comeback, and these nuisance properties are doing us no favors in attracting new residents and businesses to this community,” said Donna Lindsay, a Hyde Park resident and named plaintiff in the lawsuit. “They contribute to unlawful behavior and reduce neighboring property values.”

In March 2019, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center contacted City officials, on behalf of the Hyde Park residents, regarding resident complaints on the nuisance properties; followed by efforts to reach out to the owners of such properties, regarding an amicable remediation of the hazardous conditions.

Neither led to improvements, resulting in the filing of the lawsuit in the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court in March 2022.

“With this lawsuit, Hyde Park wants it to be known, that this community will no longer tolerate this type of conduct. If businesses want to be supportive of this community and work for its betterment – we have your back 1,000%. If you want to treat this community like your personal rubbish bin, you have another thing coming.

– Fatimah Muhammad, Chair of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association and named plaintiff in the lawsuit.

About Great Rivers Environmental Law Center: Since 2002, Great Rivers has served Missouri and Southern Illinois, providing free legal services to individuals, organizations, and citizen groups who are working to protect the environment and public health. We work through the courts and administrative agencies to safeguard the environment by enforcing environmental laws, especially air and water pollution laws and laws intended to protect wetlands, floodplains, open space, and endangered species. The issues which we address often have national significance, although the majority of our work is within Missouri and Illinois. Learn more at www.greatriverslaw.org.

About Stinson LLP: Stinson LLP collaborates with clients ranging from individuals and privately held enterprises to national companies and international public corporations. Our accomplished attorneys leverage deep knowledge and experience to deliver practical guidance, helping clients minimize risks and realize opportunities. We take pride in our collaborative approach, our lasting relationships and our unique perspectives. Connect with us at one of our 12 offices nationwide and at www.stinson.com.

About Legal Services of Eastern Missouri – Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative: Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has provided free civil legal help for low-income families for 65 years. In 2020, more than 30,000 people in 21 counties of eastern Missouri received services from four regional offices. The Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative launched in 2018 to provide free legal assistance to city neighborhoods to combat
vacancy, blight, and disinvestment. For more information, please visit www.lsem.org/neighborhood-vacancy-initiative.

Press Contact:
Sarah Rubenstein, Staff Attorney
Great Rivers Environmental Law Center
Office: 314.231.4181

Great Rivers Environmental Law Center is a Missouri-based public interest law firm that provides free services to individuals, organizations and citizen groups working to protect the environment and public health. We receive no government funding and rely on donations to sustain our work.

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