Law Firm Plans Class Action Suit in Blades Water Contamination C - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Law Firm Plans Class Action Suit in Blades Water Contamination Case

Posted: May 15, 2018 5:48 PM Updated:

BLADES, Del.- The law firm Napoli Shkolnik PLLC has announced plans to file a class action lawsuit after the town of Blades' water was found to have elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).

Louise Caro, the firm's environmental law department head, says they've had a number of people approach them with health concerns, such as thyroid issues and pregnancy complications. She says right now they are collecting clients and trying to determine who or what caused the contamination.

"If there's a facility and it's part of their chemical process, then that facility for sure would be the only one on the hook," she tells WBOC. "But if they bought from somebody else and they are using it and this is what's causing it then they both will be responsible."

Caro says in the suit, they will ask for a medical monitoring fund, which would pay for clients to be proactively tested for diseases possibly contracted from long term exposure to the contaminated water.

"The defendants would pay," she says. "So that way [clients] would make sure if there are any diseases that would be expected, they would catch them early so there is less chance that they are going to impact their lives as much."

Caro says the suit would only be against the party responsible for the contamination, not the town of Blades or any Delaware state agencies. 

The potential suit comes as the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is still investigating the cause of the contamination. Blades Town Administrator Vikki Prettyman says the agency is currently scheduling expanded well tests to help find the source.

"Right now they are working on sampling plans," she says. "Wells that need to be sampled and the time frame [to be tested]-- like every three months or six months."

Prettyman says after the results come back, the town and DNREC can develop their next steps. She says once the information is in, they will hold a public meeting, as they did many times when the situation first arose.

"When the information came out that we had contaminants in our wells, we were finding this information out at the exact same time as everybody," she says. "As soon as we knew, the public knew, and we needed to rectify the situation."

The town's water has been safe to drink since they put in a new carbon filtration system. Prettyman says they are considering purchasing another system as a backup, and making further improvements to their water treatment plant. She says the town is also looking at expanding their water service to private wells that currently are using temporary filters to make the water safe to drink.

Prettyman says they plan to have their next public meeting in June, the same month that Napoli Shkolnik hopes to discover the cause of the contamination and file the class action.


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