Ameren Settles With Taum Sauk Supt. Jerry Toop Over Disaster

Ameren has settled with Taum Sauk Supt. Jerry Toop whose family was washed away in the Dec. 14 collapse of the Taum Sauk Reservoir.

Shortly after 5 a.m. 1.5 billion gallons from the burst reservoir obliterated their home in less than 10 minutes and washed away Toops his wife Lisa and children Tanner, 5; Tara, 3; and Tucker, 7 months in subfreezing temperatures. All survived although Tanner was hospitalized with hypothermia burns for several weeks.

Neither AmerenUE nor Steve D. Burmeister, attorney for the Toops family, would release details of the settlement. Burmeister said monetary damages would not be made public, at the request of his clients.

“The Toops family wishes to thank everyone for their assistance over the last two months in aiding their family to get back to some degree of normalcy,” Burmeister said in a news release. “They wish to reiterate that Ameren UE has always been a good corporate citizen in Reynolds County. They reached out to (the Toops) family immediately … and have been very attentive to our family’s immediate needs.”
Burmeister said the family wants AmerenUE to rebuild the plant “in a fashion that will cause it to be operated safely.”

The Park Daily Journal notes that Toops never took any formal action against Ameren although they did hire an attorney.

The company’s offer came soon after Independence attorney Steve Burmeister sent a letter saying that the family had hired him to represent them. “In the 30 years I have been in practice, I can say this is very unusual,” Burmeister said. “AmerenUE was responsible and quickly responded with compensation.”

Toops family did not file claim against Ameren
February 23, 2006
Park City Daily Journal

After flood, family settles with Ameren
By Elizabethe Holland
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
02/21/2006

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