GATLINBURG, Tenn. - The city of Gatlinburg and its wastewater operator have been dropped from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the families of two workers who were killed when a wall collapsed.
The families John Eslinger and Don Storey filed suit after the two were killed April 5, 2011, when a basin wall collapsed on them at the Gatlinburg Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The plaintiffs' attorney, Bob Pryor, said his clients asked the judge to dismiss the claims against the city and plant operator Veolia Water North America. Media report the judge signed the order on Monday.
"We do not feel the city of Gatlinburg was negligent," Pryor said. "It was a mutual agreement these cases be dismissed without settlement."
The order says claims from the plaintiffs and the city remain against two other defendants: Crowder Construction Company of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Vaughn and Melton Consulting Engineers of Middlesboro, Kentucky.
"On behalf of the Eslinger and Storey families, we're very pleased the judge will let the case go to a jury trial and did not dismiss the case as the contractor and engineer requested," Pryor said.
Gatlinburg officials declined to comment since some litigation was still pending.