In a precedent setting Order issued August 23, 2019, a federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by a group of residents of Bennington and North Bennington, Vermont damaged by PFOA groundwater contamination can proceed against defendant Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics as a class action. These residents, who are represented by Davis & Whitlock, P.C. and Vermont law firms Langrock, Sperry, & Wool, LLP and Barr, Sternberg, Moss, Silver, & Munson P.C., seek property damages due to the contamination of their drinking water and medical monitoring due to their exposure to PFOA and increased risk of disease. As a result of this Order, Davis & Whitlock and its Vermont co-counsel will now pursue these claims against Saint-Gobain on behalf of all Bennington residents similarly impacted by this PFOA contamination.
Davis & Whitlock, along with Alabama firms Friedman, Dazzio, Zulanas & Bowling, PC and the Cole Law Firm, is pleased to announce a settlement on behalf of West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority in their PFAS lawsuit against the 3M Company Inc.
The settlement will ensure that WMEL can continue to supply safe drinking water for thousands of Alabama residents that depend on the Tennessee River as their main source of drinking water.
See the link for news about the settlement:
Gary Davis and Jeff Friedman (of Friedman Dazzio) led the trial team in securing a jury verdict against Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., in the four-week Phase I trial for 70 coal ash cleanup workers sickened by their exposure to the 5.4 million cubic yards of coal fly ash released by TVA at the Kingston Plant in December 2008. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee jury found Jacobs negligent for failing to protect the workers from exposure to the fly ash and found that exposure to coal fly ash can cause 10 different diseases suffered by the workers, including lung cancer and leukemia. Phase II of the trial will be for specific causation, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.
Plaintiffs proved that Jacobs deliberately manipulated or tampered with personal air monitoring results; did not inform TVA safety officials of repeated complaints regarding health problems due to fly ash; failed to comply with the provisions of the safety and health plan with respect to the voluntary use of dust masks; threatened workers when they asked for dust masks or respirators; communicated to workers that fly ash was safe to consume; and otherwise failed to train or warn workers about the dangers of excessive fly-ash exposure. Davis and Friedman were also the lead counsel in the successful 2011 bench trial against TVA on behalf of property owners in the vicinity of the coal fly ash disaster site. That liability judgment resulted in a $27.8 million settlement for the property owners.
See the link for news about the jury verdict: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/crime/2018/11/07/verdict-reached-favor-sickened-workers-coal-ash-cleanup-lawsuit/1917514002/
On November 17, 2017, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida – for a second time – denied a Motion to Dismiss filed by defendant Florida Power & Light Company in a federal Clean Water Act citizen suit filed by Davis & Whitlock on behalf of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), the Tropical Audubon Society, and Friends of the Everglades.
The Plaintiffs brought the lawsuit to address past and ongoing illegal discharges of pollutants, including radioactive tritium, from the unlined cooling canal system at FPL’s Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant near Miami into the Biscayne Bay and the Biscayne Aquifer. These discharges are in violation of FPL’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit issued under the Clean Water Act, and moreover threaten the Outstanding National Resource Waters of the Biscayne Bay and the Biscayne Aquifer, the water supply for Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys.
FPL’s novel argument that Plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge its illegal, ongoing discharges of pollutants was first denied by U.S. Magistrate Judge Alicia Otazo-Reyes in a Report and Recommendation filed on September 20, 2017. FPL objected to Magistrate Judge Otazo-Reyes’ Report and Recommendation; however, after hearing arguments of the parties on November 16, 2017, District Judge Darrin P. Gayles took little more than a day to Affirm and Adopt the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation and to deny FPL’s motion to dismiss.
FPL is also concurrently asking its ratepayers to pay over $200 million in costs relating to its attempts to clean-up the groundwater contamination in the Biscayne Aquifer discussed above.