Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Files Lawsuit Representing Residents in Montgomery County Arsenic Contamination Case
According to news reports, from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, Southern Wood Treatment Co. sat on the same land that Long Lane in Montgomery County now inhabits. After the company shut down in 1984, the machinery and material was buried underground where it sat until a cleanup effort was put in place. Since that effort was given up in 1998 and houses were built on the land, little has been done to alleviate the levels of arsenic – reaching the tens of thousands per million in some soil areas – on Long Lane. Now, 16 years later, residents are ready to take action, realizing the lasting effects that a wood treatment plant may have on their lives and their children's.
Arsenic is a chemical element mainly used in different forms of insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides, as well as treated wood products. Over the years, the use of arsenic - like the use of lead - has started to decline, but not quickly enough for the citizens of Montgomery County. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "the greatest threat to public health from arsenic originates from contaminated groundwater. Drinking water, crops irrigated with contaminated water and food prepared with contaminated water are sources of exposure." Long term effects of arsenic exposure include various types of cancer such as: skin, bladder, and lung; along with diabetes, pulmonary, and cardiovascular disease. Other serious side effects of arsenic include vomiting, numbness in the hands and feet, skin discoloration and even blindness.
Hal Friedman and his partner, Michael Cooper, of Cooper and Friedman PLLC, are hopeful that some remedy for the families can be found. Mr. Friedman was recently quoted in the Mt. Sterling Advocate: "There's been a catastrophe in this small community off of Long Lane that has displaced the residents and caused them grave concern for their personal safety and the value of their property."
After an initial evaluation and research, Cooper and Friedman moved forward to file a complaint and formally open a case. Mr. Friedman explained that the lawsuit against the former wood treatment company and others was recently filed because of the need to " develop more information than we have been able to obtain so far about how this occurred, who caused it, why the site was not cleaned up years before and what remedies might be available to the effected residents."
Toenail clippings from almost 100 residents were taken in order to gain a more detailed understanding of the severity of the situation. Toenail testing provides information about arsenic exposure levels for upwards of 8 months. Additional details will come available when results from the testing are complete. Until then, some residents of Long Lane are displaced and being issued small stipends to relocate elsewhere.
While state-employed crews work to remove and replace soil that has tested positively for arsenic, residents who have not been given stipends and must stay in the contaminated rural area have been issued face masks and encouraged to minimize time outdoors as well as keep windows and doors of their homes closed while work is being done. The cost of the remediation and extent of the damages are not yet known. More details will be provided as information becomes available.
ABOUT COOPER AND FRIEDMAN
The personal injury attorneys at Cooper and Friedman PLLC have been successfully defending the rights of accident victims across Kentucky and Southern Indiana since 1991. The Louisville, Kentucky-based law firm has recovered millions of dollars for seriously injured victims of many different types of accidents.
Along with environmental contamination cases, Cooper and Friedman also represents people injured by car crashes, motorcycle wrecks, truck accidents, workplace injuries, nursing home abuse, debt collection harassment, civil rights abuses, dog bite injuries, medical malpractice, and more.
To learn additional information about Cooper and Friedman, read what clients have to say about the firm. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in Kentucky or Southern, Indiana, call 502-459-7555 now for a free case consultation with an attorney. The Cooper and Friedman law firm has earned an A+ BBB Rating and is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers.