JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A 'vile' smelling odor is at the root of a new lawsuit, which hit a snag this week due to language technicalities.
Three Jacksonville residents are suing a local fragrance factory, saying its 'noxious' emissions are destroying their quality of life.
First Coast News has been following this story since last year as the chemical odor continues to impact people from Riverside to Ortega.
The lawsuit was stricken by the judge just hours after it was filed. Attorneys plan to refile it this week.
The lawsuit means residents are taking their fight to a new level.
Allegations in the civil action lawsuit call the odor "vile and sickening” and “indecent and offensive to people with ordinary health and sensibilities." The lawsuit was filed on Jan. 6 against International Flavors and Fragrances, a fragrance factory on Lane Avenue.
The judge rejected the language of the filing for technical reasons, but not substantive ones.
"That's, I think, a very promising sign that the judge doesn't dispute that these are the right people to bring this kind of a case before a judge," said Josh Gellers, a board member with the Murray Hill Preservation Association tasked with handling the situation and working with the city. He's not part of the lawsuit.
According to District City Councilmember Randy Defoor's office, the city is taking enforcement action against IFF. It's still unclear if the odor is coming entirely from their facility.
"I think we should use every avenue that's available to us," said Gellers. "Even protests if it really comes to it."
He says all of this is progress toward ending the odor.
"Together we can address this issue and get it fixed," Gellers said.
IFF has not yet filed a response to the civil suit. First Coast News did not hear back with a comment but will update this story accordingly.
You are encouraged to file a complaint with the city and EPA when you smell the odor and email the Murray Hill Preservation Association at MurrayHillChemicalSmell@murrayhilljax.com.