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Residents win Pa. power plant lawsuit _ sort of

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Three people who live near a coal-fired FirstEnergy Corp. power plant in southwestern Pennsylvania have won their federal pollution lawsuit.

Sort of.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh has entered a default judgment against the Akron, Ohio-based utility because FirstEnergy didn't respond to the lawsuit in time. The lawsuit was filed Aug. 28 and the company had 21 days to respond after it received the court papers, which online records show occurred by certified mail on Sept. 4.

But FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young says the company wasn't properly served with papers and plans to ask a federal court judge to reopen the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs claim they and 1,000 other nearby residents have been harmed by pollution from the Hatfield's Ferry plant in Masontown.

FirstEnergy closed the plant earlier this month saying tightening pollution regulations make it cost-prohibitive.