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CITY, N.J. - Jersey City residents have filed a lawsuit against Honeywell
International of New Jersey and PPG Industries of Pennsylvania for allegedly dumping
and failing to clean up cancer-causing hexavalent chromium waste in their
class action lawsuit was filed May 17 in the Hudson County Superior Court. It
is the first major class action lawsuit seeking widespread relief for residents
and property owners in the wake of a federal study showing elevated levels of
cancer in some areas near the toxic waste sites, according to attorneys
representing the residents.
lawsuit demands that defendants pay for periodic medical screenings for the
early detection of cancer in exposed populations and pay damages to landowners
whose properties have been devalued. The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages
for defendants' knowing and deliberate conduct in disposing and failing to
properly remediate hexavalent chromium contamination in Jersey City.
class action, Smith, et al. v. Honeywell International, Inc., et al.
(No. L00267910, N.J. Super., Hudson Co.), generally affects residents and
properties at or near various sites identified by the New Jersey Department of
Environmental Protection as having been contaminated with chromium waste. The
case was filed by the law firms of Janet, Jenner & Suggs LLC; German
Rubenstein LLP; Williams Cuker & Berezofsky LLC; and Kanner & Whiteley
to the lawsuit, the defendants disposed of more than 1 million tons of chromium
in Jersey City beginning in the early 1900s. The waste, referred to as chrome
ore processing residue, or COPR, is a byproduct of the defendants' Jersey City
chromium chemical production operations of the last century, and much of it
remains today, according to the suit.
lawsuit seeks certification of a proposed medical monitoring class, for
individuals who lived within 500 feet of a COPR waste site for at least six
months. As many as 38,000 people lived in the area, according to the 2000
status is also being sought for a proposed property damage class which includes
all properties within one-quarter mile of any chromium site. The suit seeks
compensation for devaluation and other property damages resulting from
proximity to these toxic waste sites. As many as 27,800 parcels may be
affected. A map showing the location of the sites can be found here.
the complaint here.