By THOMAS GRILLO
LYNN — The offensive smell of onions wafting from a Lynnway factory could be the subject of a money damages lawsuit.
A Lynnfield law firm has sent letters to residents telling them they may be entitled to cash if the odors from Kettle Cuisine interferes with enjoyment of their home.
The company, founded in Chelsea more than 30 years ago, handcrafts small batch soups from scratch for restaurants, foodservice operators and grocers, according to the company’s website. The company moved to Lynn nearly four years ago.
William Doyle, an attorney from Colonna & Doyle, who sent the notices, did not return a call seeking comment about the possible class action lawsuit. But his letter said they are investigating stink complaints about the facility and ask potential claimants to describe how the stench affects their quality of life.
Liam McClennon, Kettle Cuisine’s CEO, was not surprised to learn about the potential court action. He said many of the company’s employees live in the city and shared the letter with management.
McClennon defended the company’s handling of the smells. He said they have invested time, effort and cash to combat the odors and worked with the city and the Department of Environmental Protection to be good neighbors.
“There are lots of other smells on the Lynnway,” he said. “There’s a rubbish dump down the road, a bakery, Old Neighborhood and the dairy. Those smells blow past us, but we get the finger pointed at us for the variety of smells. We are one of the few businesses trying to mitigate the odors.”
McClennon said the company invested $30,000 a few weeks ago to fight the onion and garlic odors. They installed equipment on two chimneys to treat and purify the steam vapor and lessen the smell.
“We are happy with the results so far and believe they have made a meaningful reduction in terms of odor-causing elements leaving the building,” he said. “But I can’t control the odors from other parts of the town.”
Competing smells come from Traditional Breads on nearby Pleasant Street, Garelick Farms on the Lynnway, Old Neighborhood Foods on Waterhill Street and a transfer station on the Commercial Street, he said.
But Ward 4 City Councilor Richard Colucci, who lives near the factory, said he can smell the onions through his bedroom window. He is convinced the odors are from Kettle Cuisine.
“There’s no doubt about it,” he said. “That garlic and onion smell is hard to miss because it travels with the wind.”
Thomas Grillo can be reached at [email protected]