Fort Myers Residents Potentially Exposed to Arsenic Contamination
A Fort Myers community recently discovered that the city dumped toxic sludge in the neighborhood 50 years ago and never explicitly informed the residents or did anything to clean up the site.
In 1962, the city bought land in a residential area (specifically in the Dunbar community between Henderson and Midway avenues and Jeffcott and South streets) so that it had a place to dump waste from the water treatment plant. While the residents were aware of the sludge, what they didn’t know was that the waste contained arsenic.
According to city officials, the arsenic levels in area groundwater are within a normal range, but residents worry that neighbors who have died from cancer were affected by the contamination.
What Is a Toxic Tort?
A toxic tort is a specific type of personal injury that occurs when a person is exposed to toxic chemicals or materials. This type of injury is common among workers who are routinely exposed to toxins in the workplace (because of the nature of their occupation). Asbestos exposure, which is of particular concern for construction workers, is a well-known example.
But if you’ve ever seen the movie “Erin Brockovich,” or if you live in Dunbar, then you know that workplace toxins are not the only chemicals you have to worry about. Corporations often release chemicals into the environment and, as the Dunbar community knows, the government sometimes does, too. When toxins are present in the environment residents can develop serious illnesses and new babies can be born with serious birth defects. Pesticides, radiation from power generation, and toxic waste that has been disposed of properly are all sources of toxic exposure.
Unfortunately, chemical spills aren’t always easy to detect. Sometimes it takes years before any symptoms develop. Other times, as in Dunbar’s case, the alleged culprit is known but it’s not clear how much damage has been done. That’s why anyone who suspects they have been injured from toxic exposure should consult with an experienced attorney. You will need a team of experts, including scientists and doctors, to help you prove your case.
Federal and state law should protect Florida residents from the type of toxic exposure facing Dunbar residents. In fact, both the state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are tasked with implementing such laws and keeping the environment safe for the community. Whenever a corporation, individual person or government official violates an environmental law and puts your health at risk, you might be entitled to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Reach out to an experienced attorney today.
Contact Us Today
If you have been injured from exposure to toxic sludge or other environmental toxins, contact a Fort Myers personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys will help you determine whether you should bring a personal injury lawsuit and who you should sue.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.