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Everyone is entitled to have clean, safe water. Water contamination occurs when water is made unsafe for humans, animals or plants. No matter where your drinking water comes from, it can become contaminated.
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, pollutants include fertilizers and pesticides; sewage and food processing waste; lead, mercury and other metals; chemical waste; and chemical contamination from hazardous waste sites.
Some of the chemical contaminants that are currently being found to cause problems around the country include PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Due to the many types and levels of contaminants, it is difficult to determine the exact number of people who have been affected. However, researchers have estimated that approximately 900,000 people become ill each year.
In addition to making people sick, these contaminants also have an effect on the value of your property – families don’t typically want to live in or move into communities with contaminated water.
Municipal water providers constantly have to monitor and may have to treat a community’s water supply to ensure that it is safe for drinking. When contaminants are found that exceed drinking water standards, it becomes necessary to find the money to fix the problem.
Weitz & Luxenberg P.C attorneys are currently working with municipal water districts to recover the costs of treatment of community water to comply with drinking water standards. W&L also is working with individuals who have suffered health and property value declines, and loss of use and enjoyment of their property, due to contaminated water.
Making Corporations Pay for Causing Contamination
Often, that water pollution and its resulting damage is caused by corporations conducting manufacturing in the area.
It takes a substantial amount of resources for a law firm to go up against large corporations who are harming people and municipalities. W&L has a history of successful battles.
Our Environmental team of attorneys is currently fighting for safe groundwater and to prevent drinking water contamination. Ongoing investigations and lawsuits include:
- Flint Michigan
- Hoosick Falls, New York
- Petersburgh, New York
- North Bennington, Vermont
- Merrimack, New Hampshire
Some of the firms that wish they had not tangled with us are large oil companies like ExxonMobil and Shell. Our clients received a settlement of $423 million from these corporations for their MTBE-contaminated public water systems.
Long Island municipalities and water districts are also relying on Weitz & Luxenberg after they found out that their aquifers were contaminated by PCE (perchloroethylene), TCE (trichloroethylene) and other VOCs We are working with these municipalities to get compensation for their property and community-related damages.
The head attorney of our Environmental group was able to gain a seat on the plaintiffs’ steering committee for the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill litigation. She helped get more than $10 billion from BP, Haliburton and Transocean, for our clients who were affected by this environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of this compensation was for health-related damages, while much of it focused on the negative economic impact — including property damage and the loss of property value for businesses and homes.
Water Contamination Creating Health Complications
Because of the wide variety of contaminants, the range of health complications can also vary. Many contaminants, however, have the potential to be life-threatening, depending on the level and duration of exposure.
The acute short-term complications of water contamination include:
- Diarrhea and dehydration
People who continue to suffer from water contamination often experience chronic and severe illnesses, including:
- Heart disease
- Immune deficiency
- Neurological problems
- Developmental disabilities
- Reproductive damage
When manufacturers or other contaminate your water supply, they should be held accountable. Contacting a lawyer is the first step in this process.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
As a nationally recognized personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to helping clients win cases. For more than 25 years, we have dedicated ourselves to holding irresponsible practitioners accountable, and we have won $17 billion for our clients.
We would feel privileged to assist you. For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please call us at 800-476-6070. If you prefer, you can complete our form, and our client relations representative will contact you shortly.