Hundreds of laid-off VC Summer workers seek legal options in wak - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Hundreds of laid-off VC Summer workers seek legal options in wake of project's collapse

Hundreds of laid-off employees from the recently cancelled VC Summer nuclear project have packed an attorney meeting in Winnsboro. (Source: WIS) Hundreds of laid-off employees from the recently cancelled VC Summer nuclear project have packed an attorney meeting in Winnsboro. (Source: WIS)
WINNSBORO, SC (WIS) -

Hundreds of former workers attended a meeting discussing a failed nuclear reactor project in Fairfield County Monday.

Thousands lost their jobs last week following the announcement. SCANA and Santee Cooper decided last week to stop construction on the V.C. Summer nuclear reactor site after spending billions of dollars because of cost overruns.

"We was a close knit family," James McConnell said. "Met a lot of people from different states and we came to be like brothers and sisters. They called it all one team, but SCE&G and Santee Cooper didn't treat us like one team."

McConnell, like many others, made his way to a meeting room at Winnsboro's Carolina Event Center Monday to pick up preliminary information from lawyers representing two law firms from Columbia and Charleston. They are exploring at least the possibility of legal action in response to the project shutdown.

MORE: Gov. McMaster announces Employ SC rapid response for V.C. Summer workers

"Is there some law that has been breached?" asked attorney Amy Gaffney, "Is there something, some protection that's available to these folks and, if so, is it available on a collective or class basis? Not so much an individual person-by-person basis. Some law that applies to them as a whole."

Gaffney said some of the workers were caught off guard in part because they had the perception that the level of activity underway at the site indication a "robust" project rather than one that was in trouble.

"Definitely, somebody needs to be held accountable," said Robert Burn. "Because we have bills to pay. You know, we've got mortgages. We've got kids who've got to back to school. You've got to buy school supplies, clothes for school, shoes. People got kids going to college. All that adds up."

More than 5,000 construction workers have lost or will lose their jobs in the weeks ahead. SCE&G is also eliminating more than 600 positions.

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