If you’re a resident in or around the upstate New York towns of Hoosick Falls or Petersburgh, you know all too well the dangers of the contaminated water, including the potential risks to your health and the frustration of trying to live from day to day.
The environmental and toxic tort attorneys of Williams Cuker Berezofsky have partnered with the New York-based law firm of Faraci Lange to jointly represent individuals and families impacted by this water crisis.
and the Environmental Tort Law Blog.
One of our well-known and most successful environmental cases made the national and international news.
Toms River, New Jersey was a case of ours where we achieved a resolution that helped many families live their lives safely, provide for their medical care, receive ongoing monitoring of health they deserved and be awarded compensation. News reports lauded the town’s fight and our collaborative success. View our video of the Toms River case.
Toms River and the upstate New York and Vermont towns have some similarities.
The case facts are recounted in the Pulitzer prize-winning book “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation” by Dan Fagin.
Other New York communities we’ve represented:
We are honored to have served the residents of Toms River and these other communities.
Class Action? Opt out and achieve a better result through an individual lawsuit? Class actions can be beneficial for some people, but knowing what’s right for you and your family is so important we encourage you to ask questions and learn the difference.
Our blog post “Why Class Actions Don’t Always Protect Toxic Exposure Victims” can help you. There are issues where the certification of a class action makes a difference, the timing, whether a “one size fits all” approach serves all families, and more.
A case affecting thousands of people in Pennsylvania demonstrates the difference. A class action settlement was reached by another law firm but our clients “opted out” so their individual situations would be taken into account. Factors including how long they lived in the area and drank the water, the number of residents per household, the ages of residents (children can be at greater risk for long term effects), the varying levels of contamination for each household or well, and the specific illnesses, conditions, or injuries they claim is a result of the toxic exposure.
It’s important to remember that even if there is a class action settlement, you can opt out and get individual representation that may better protect you. Contact us to learn which option is best for you.
Volumes of information have been written on the dangers PFOA. There has also been a substantial lobbying effort by the chemical industry over time to downplay the risks. But know that the risks are very real and long-lasting.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, also known as C8) is a chemical used in the manufacture of non-stick surfaces and other products. It is a toxic substance, even at low levels, and has been linked to cancers of the kidneys and testicles, colitis, thyroid disease, and severe birth defects when the mother has been exposed.
The contamination is linked to the Saint-Gobain plant, located on the Hoosick River, not far from the city wells that provide drinking water.
The levels being measured in the Hoosick Falls town water supply and homeowner wells outside the town’s limits are exceeding safe limits. In a February 24, 2016 news report (News Channel 13, wnyt.com), one private well was reported to have “shocking levels” of PFOA, thirty times the level the EPA said was safe at the end of January.
The same news report indicated that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is looking into allegations of illegal dumping that may be contributing to the contamination.
What recourse do you have? Litigation is often the last and best recourse of individuals harmed by exposure to toxic chemicals.
Some residents are concerned the filters don’t offer enough protection, see “Effects of Poisoned Water Are Personal in Hoosick Falls” (News Channel 13, wnyt.com).The article also states that a full filtration system is expected in October, but that the decision to replace the entire water system rests with the EPA and DEC.
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The three partners leading the environmental litigation team for Williams Cuker Berezofsky are known nationally for their landmark toxic tort cases that resulted not only in significant financial recoveries for their clients, but established important legal precedents that have benefited individuals and communities across the country.
For more than 25 years, Mark Cuker, Esther Berezofsky and Gerald Williams have represented individuals and communities who have suffered the serious –and all-too-often fatal –effects of noxious, polluted environments. They are called by law firms across the country to advise and act as co-counsel and provide commentary to national print, broadcast, and online media. Last year, Esther Berezofsky authored “Environmental Torts” in the Mass Tort and Class Action Treatise published by the New Jersey Association for Justice, a valued resource for legal practitioners nationwide.
WCB attorneys are continually investigating environmental toxic tort issues and write blog posts sharing the information. Here are a few of the most recent toxic contamination posts:
Visit the complete Environmental Tort Law Blog.
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