Corona residents file $10M suit against alleged toxic grocer


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com |

Corona residents filed a $10 million lawsuit against a neighboring grocery wholesaler who they say is making their everyday lives toxic.

According to the lawsuit, which comes from about 23 residents, Moreno Produce — also known as Nuevo Mexico Lindo Su Abarrotera Central Corp. — is being accused of endangering the health, welfare and safety of the residents and interrupting their peace and quiet.

Residents say tractor trailer trucks spend hours parked outside with the engines on, sending toxic fumes into neighboring homes. At night, even though the truck engines are shut off, the refrigerator motors remain running all night, disrupting sleep in nearby homes.

“The motors would vibrate and rattle pictures off the wall,” said Peter Zirbes, the lawyer representing the residents.

These “unreasonable and dangerous” ways of conducting business began two years ago, Zirbes said, and has continued as the business has grown.

The idle trucks also block traffic and have occasionally caused damages to residents’ vehicles, residents charged.
Its employees have also allegedly made “rude, abusive and sexually suggestive comments,” and have threatened some residents with physical violence, the lawsuit said.

“We are looking for some compensation because the residents have been put through this for two years,” said Zirbes. “They are entitled to have peace in their neighborhood.”

Among those in the lawsuit are children who have inhaled the toxic air and cannot safely play outdoors with the fear of being hit by a truck or forklift, the lawyer said.

In the meantime, Moreno Produce has been hit with a “temporary restraining order,” which states the trucks are not allowed to stop for more than 15 minutes during the day, Zirbes said.

The residents hope to reach a balanced agreement.

An attorney for Moreno did not return calls for comment.

 

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