MBA Polymers Inc. continues to shake off residue from a fire while raising investment capital and planning for growth.
The October 2000 fire generated more than 36,000 claims for personal injury, lost wages, inconvenience and nuisance, said plaintiffs' lawyer Richard Franco of San Francisco. ``A lot of people are claiming they were affected,'' but insurance funding before lawyers' fees is limited to $8 million.
Judge David Flinn approved a settlement June 6 in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez, Calif. Payments should be distributed within a few months.
Claims from the fire and explosion at MBA's leased plant in Richmond were filed against the recycling firm, ventilation system designer Blymyer Engineers Inc. of Alameda, Calif., and equipment installer Koffler Electrical Mechanical Apparatus Repair Inc. of San Leandro, Calif., Franco said by telephone. Of two individuals opting out of the class action, one case was resolved and the other was pending resolution.
``Insurance covers the claims,'' said Mike Biddle, MBA president and chief executive officer. MBA will have no out-of-pocket costs, he said.
A separate January settlement, not involving MBA, paid $965,000 to the family of a forklift operator who died in the fire.
Pending fire-related matters involve a county district attorney review of the fatality and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration citations.
On the financial front, MBA is seeking outside funding, Biddle said. MBA aims to expand use of its technology for recycling engineering thermoplastics from durable goods, possibly in concert with global contract manufacturer Flextronics International Ltd., an MBA equity investor.