Litigation

Weitz & Luxenberg Sues Dupont, Royle Over Toxic Chemicals Plume

NEW YORK — Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. has announced that it began filing complaints March 4 against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and Royle Systems Group on behalf of more than 350 residents of Pompton Lakes, N.J.

The firm said this legal action is prompted by the defendants’ decision to allow a plume of hazardous chemicals emanating from DuPont’s Pompton Lakes Works explosives factory and from Royle’s manufacturing facility adjacent to the DuPont site to remain essentially untreated for decades. This “callous disregard has harmed, and continues to threaten, the wellbeing and safety of area families,” the firm alleges.

“This is an enduring toxic legacy that spans decades,” said Lem Srolovic, an attorney in the Environmental and Toxic Torts Unit of Weitz & Luxenberg.

The four-count complaint alleges that DuPont and Royle Systems Group knew or should have known at least since the 1990s that the chlorinated solvents found in the groundwater posed an unreasonable risk of harm to people living in the area given the potential for vapor intrusion. Further, despite this clear understood danger, the defendants took no meaningful steps to remove the risk of exposure or warn affected residents of the problem until 2008, it alleges. In fact, in September 1997, DuPont sent a letter to residents of Pompton Lakes falsely stating that there was no reason to be concerned about vapor intrusion, it alleges.

According to the firm:

A report issued last December by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry concluded that six toxic chemicals originating from the DuPont property were found inside homes in the impacted area of Pompton Lakes: carbon tetrachloride, 1,2-dichloroethane, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, and vinyl chloride. Exposure to trichloroethylene is specifically associated with kidney cancer and exposure to tetrachloroethylene with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The report also found that residents in the affected area of Pompton Lakes have more than three times the rate of kidney cancer in women and more than 2.5 times the rate of non-Hodgkins lymphoma in men when compared to statewide rates.

DuPont operated the factory, located at 2000 Cannonball Road, from 1902 until 1994, while Royle operated its equipment manufacturing business from 1976 through 2009 on land adjacent to and formerly part of the DuPont site. In the wake of their “unchecked and reckless corporate pollution,” residents of Pompton Lakes have become seriously ill and have watched the value of their homes plummet, according to Weitz & Luxenberg.

For more information about the contamination in Pompton Lakes, visit www.weitzlux.com. Weitz & Luxenberg, founded in 1986, is one of the leading plaintiffs' litigation law firms in America.