Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh, and other upstate New York and Vermont Towns Water Contamination

Pennsylvania Water Contamination Lawyers

Hoosick Falls Water Crisis

water-contamination

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.

  • Call 215-557-0099 now fill out the contact form to speak with one of our attorneys and learn your legal options and have your questions answered.
  • You may also download our client questionnaire and fill it out but it’s not required before you contact us.

For the residents of Hoosick Falls & Petersburgh, NY:

View our Environmental Video and News & Successes pages

and the Environmental Tort Law Blog.


WHY CHOOSE OUR ATTORNEYS

One of our well-known and most successful environmental cases made the national and international news.

“The story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution  .  .  .

a town that fought back and

won one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping”

toms-river-waterToms 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.

  • Both were suspected industrial pollution that had been going on for years.
  • Both had local governments saying “it’s not that bad” but then, upon seeing the science we amassed and analyzed with experts, realized it was not only bad but had life-threatening effects.

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:

  • East Fishkill: More than 60 families asked us to represent them after learning their drinking water had been contaminated for years with chlorinated solvents dumped by a contractor working for IBM.
  • Endicott: Toxic vapors from chlorinated solvent pollution intruded into hundreds of homes. More than 1,000 people engaged us to represent them in claims against the polluter, again IBM.
  • Ithaca: We represented dozens of families in similar claims for vapor intrusion from groundwater contaminated by two local factories.

We are honored to have served the residents of Toms River and these other communities.

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CLASS ACTION OR INDIVIDUAL LAWSUIT?

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.

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THE TOXIC CHEMICAL: PFOA

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.

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WHAT YOU SHOULD DO RIGHT NOW

Critically important:

  • Don’t drink the water or brush your teeth with it.
  • Don’t cook with the water.
  • Don’t shower with it if you have skin conditions or abrasions; children’s skins are particularly sensitive. Minimize inhaling the water vapor while showering and bathing.
  • Do not use the water in humidifiers.
  • Use bottled water or, if you have a filter recommended by the EPA and other authorities, use with caution as it is unknown if filters fully protect you from the risks.

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.

Sign up for testing:

Get your questions answered:

  • Call the Department of Health PFOA Water Contamination Hotline 800-801-8092 from 8:30am-8:00pm.
  • Visit the DEH staff at the HAYC3 Armory in the Village of Hoosick Falls on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-8pm and Saturdays, 10am-2pm.
  • They have also been providing a mobile command centers in different locations around the area.
  • Watch our Facebook page for news, event days and times. “Like” the page to have our updates display on your news feed.

Contact us:

  • Call 215-557-0099
  • Fill out this inquiry form
  • Email GWilliams@wcblegal.com

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MEET OUR ENVIRONMENTAL AND TOXIC TORT LEADERSHIP TEAM

meet-team

Left to right: Mark Cuker, Esther Berezofsky and Gerald Williams

 

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.

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READ OUR BLOG POSTS

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: