Napoli Shkolnik Files Class Action Lawsuit For Love Canal
February 16, 2018 | Environmental Litigation
Napoli Shkolnik has filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Niagara Falls, the Niagara Falls Water Board, Occidental Petroleum Corporation (the former Hooker Chemical Corp.), and other defendants, for injuries related to toxic waste released from the Love Canal hazardous waste site.
Love Canal, an area synonymous with hazardous waste and public health impacts, is the site of a toxic waste dump created by Hooker that caused a public health emergency in the late 1970s. Much of the hazardous waste that caused this historic health and environmental crisis remains at the site to this day. The neighborhood is infamously known as an epicenter of one of the most massive environmental pollution disasters that affects residents to this day. The extensive contamination culminated in the site being name a Superfund Site.
A former New York State Health Department Commissioner called Love Canal a “national symbol of failure to exercise a sense of concern for future generations.”
The Love Canal Disaster
The suit alleges that chemicals leaking from the site migrate throughout the area through groundwater, leaky sewer pipes, and through the air. This exposed the public to the same chemicals that required a full-scale evacuation of the area almost four decades ago. At the time, many of the local activists were dismissed by apathetic New York state officials. Sadly Love Canal is not an isolated incident of an environmental disaster.
A front-page story in the New York Times on August 1, 1978 read, “Niagara Falls, New York — Twenty five years after the Hooker Chemical Company stopped using the Love Canal here as an industrial dump, 82 different compounds, 11 of them suspected carcinogens, have been percolating upward through the soil, their drum containers rotting and leaching their contents into the backyards and basements of 100 homes and a public school built on the banks of the canal.”
Occidental has failed to properly manage and contain its industrial waste. They also failed to ensure that the public and the environment are protected. The City of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls Water Board have failed to stop this hazardous waste from migrating through its storm water and sewer systems, resulting in public health problems and property value impacts.
“It is inexcusable that the City and companies involved have turned a blind eye to the suffering their negligence has caused,” said Napoli Shkolnik partner Louise Caro. “The level of suffering the Love Canal community has experienced has had serious, long term and in some cases, permanent consequences,” she added.
Lingering Health Problems
The lawsuit seeks to address injuries to persons who were exposed to Love Canal chemicals that leached from the landfill and were carried by the City’s sewer system to residential properties. Health impacts proven to be caused by Love Canal chemicals include:
- birth defects;
- nervous disorders;
- bladder cancer;
- kidney cancer; and
- respiratory cancers.
If you own property or live in the Love Canal area, and you are shown to have been injured by Love Canal chemicals, you may be able to recover damages. Napoli Shkolnik PLLC is ready to seek justice on behalf of those exposed to Love Canal contaminants. There are no upfront legal fees and we only recover money if we win your case.
How Can We Help?
Do you need assistance with a legal matter? Our attorneys have the experience needed to guide you in the right direction.