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Weitz & Luxenberg has filed a lawsuit against Saint-Gobain and Honeywell International on behalf of R.M. Bacon, LLC, an excavation and construction company located in the town of Hoosick Falls, New York. The complaint alleges that the defendants are responsible for the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination of groundwater in Hoosick Falls, which has negatively impacted R.M. Bacon’s business.
“This lawsuit demonstrates how widespread and devastating the effects of polluted water can be on a community,” said Robin Greenwald, head of Weitz & Luxenberg’s Environmental and Consumer Protection Unit. “The residents of Hoosick Falls have experienced physical and financial harm from this reckless contamination and now their businesses are suffering. Those responsible for the pollution must be responsible for remedying the damage they have caused, and continue to cause, on this town.”
According to the complaint, the discovery of PFOA water contamination led property values in Hoosick Falls to decline and reduced development interest in the area. Despite being the leading contractor in Hoosick Falls, R.M. Bacon’s work disappeared as residents were unable to obtain loans and were hesitant to improve their homes amidst falling property values. In 2016, R.M. Bacon did not schedule any work after July and experienced a significant loss of revenue. To lower overhead and costs, the company was forced to sell most of its equipment and reduced its staff to one employee — the owner.
“R.M. Bacon has been in business for more than 30 years but now is in danger of closure because of the defendants’ actions,” said William Walsh, associate attorney in Weitz & Luxenberg’s Environmental Pollution Unit. “Their polluting activities irreparably damaged the company’s business and they should be held responsible for compensating its losses.”
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants, Saint-Gobain and Honeywell International, are responsible for the PFOA contamination in Hoosick Falls and that the defendants, “knew or should have known that use of PFOA and/or the discharge of PFOA was potentially hazardous to human health and the environment” and should have taken adequate precautions. R.M. Bacon is seeking damages to cover the costs of its decreased revenue, the resulting loss of equipment, and its diminished property values.
In February 2016, Weitz & Luxenberg filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of the residents of the Village of Hoosick Falls against Saint-Gobain and Honeywell related to the release of PFOA into the environment. In July 2016, the firm filed the first personal injury lawsuit related to the water contamination in Hoosick Falls, alleging that exposure to PFOA directly caused the plaintiff’s ulcerative colitis and other illnesses.