- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Two people have been selected to serve as mediators in the litigation over the TVA ash spill.
Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan granted a motion by the plaintiffs to refer the cases to mediation in November and ordered the parties to select a mediator within 30 days.
The parties settled on Pamela L. Reeves and Rodney A. Max to serve as joint mediators.
The judge issued an order on Dec. 21 approving the selections.
“The court finds the parties’ joint proposal regarding the selection of mediators acceptable,” Varlan wrote.
Reeves is a member of the court’s list of approved mediators. She’s a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a member of the Knoxville law firm Reeves, Herbert & Murrian, P.A.
“Pam Reeves is known across the state of Tennessee for her skills as a civil litigator, her ability to find creative ways to solve problems for litigants and for her leadership abilities,” her biography on the Tennessee Academy of Mediators & Arbitrators said.
Max is not a member of the court’s list of approved mediators, but Varlan didn’t take issue with that in his Dec. 21 order.
“The parties submit that Mr. Max, nevertheless, is an experienced mediator in mass environmental tort litigation and a past president of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators,” the order said.
TVA has also designated Senior Vice President Robert M. Deacy to serve as its party representative for the mediation.
Deacy, according to court documents, has “full authority to
recommend a negotiated settlement to TVA’s chief executive officer and the TVA Board of Directors.”
The Dec. 22, 2008, disaster at TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant released more than 5 million cubic yards of ash into the environment. The litigation has been one of the repercussions.
In August, Varlan ruled “specific nondiscretionary conduct on the part of TVA” caused the disaster.
“The entire TVA Ash Spill Litigation currently encompasses more than 60 cases pending ... and involves more than 800 plaintiffs,” last month’s order said.