This is a class action that seeks a recovery that would allow area residents to clean up the toxins, protect their families’ future health, stop ongoing pollution by the OUC, and preserve their property values.
No. That kind of personal injury claim would need to be brought separately. The current claims concern only contamination cleanup and damage to property.
These allegations are based on epidemiological data we obtained from the state and analysis by our independent experts. The figures alleged in the complaint had not been published previously and were not part of any prior study.
No. In January of 2018, the Florida Department of Health provided data that initially included the number of cancers for the entire State of Florida. In March of 2018, the Department of Health provided updated, correct data that is incorporated into the lawsuit. That email is shown below:
Most of the regulations relating to coal-burning power plants relate to emissions from the smokestacks. While it is possible that some of the pollution came from a failure to meet regulatory standards in the smokestacks and that issue will be a subject of discovery, this case is about airborne pollution from the coal and coal ash piles maintained at the Stanton Power Plant. In approving the plant, the State required the OUC to handle coal and coal ash in a manner that would protect human health, and we allege it has failed to do so, as demonstrated by the presence of the toxins at area homes. Under Florida law, the OUC is responsible for toxins at area residents’ homes that originated from the Power Plant, and can only avoid liability if it meets the burden of showing that it did not cause that pollution.
The OUC historically has been a source of groundwater pollution originating from its ash ponds, and has lined the ponds to address that issue. This case is not about groundwater pollution, and lining the ash ponds does nothing to limit airborne pollution from the coal and ash piles.
Under Florida law, anyone damaged by pollution may bring a claim against those responsible for it, and a defendant can avoid liability only by showing someone else was the sole cause of the pollution. Area residents are living in homes that are contaminated with carcinogens both because of the pollution from the OUC, and because the developers built, marketed and managed communities in the shadow of the Power Plant without taking steps to ensure the homes in those communities were safe or taking steps to stop the pollution that already existed and remained ongoing when the communities were built.
We began our investigation after area residents expressed concern about the high cancer rates in the 32828 zip code, and the possibility that toxic pollution from Stanton was a threat to area residents’ health. The class area alleged in the original complaint was determined using standard air modeling analysis approved by the EPA, together with results of samples taken from properties within the class area. The modeling and data showed elevated concentrations of (1) polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) including Benzo(a)Pyrene (BaP), (2) harmful heavy metals, and (3) gross alpha radiation, including the radionuclide Polonium-210 (Po-210) within approximately 5.5 miles from the Stanton Energy Center. We are continuing to investigate the appropriate scope of the area that should be included in this lawsuit, including the issue of whether the lawsuit should include communities south of the plant, and will amend the complaint if we conclude it would be appropriate to do so. Some of the results of gross alpha and Polonium testing at various soil depths and at various distances from the plan are listed below:
If you own a home in the affected area, you do not need to do anything further to remain in the case, although you are welcome to contact the lawyers on the case to discuss your situation. If you believe you have an individual personal injury claim based on a disease or other injury suffered by yourself or a family member, this case, which is brought on behalf of all residential property owners as a class, will not protect your personal injury rights.
The law firms that have brought the Class Action are not able to provide advice to residents that are purchasing or selling their homes.
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