Allegations of toxins in land result in litigation

The bustling metropolis of Melbourne, Florida, is home to a booming real estate market. Deals are made every day for properties big and small, ranging from single-family homes to towering commercial buildings. Each of those deals involves contracts, inspectors, buyers, sellers and often many contractors and subcontractors too. With all those people involved, it is inevitable that someone will wind up on a different page from someone else regarding price, building quality, property maintenance or any number of other issues. When that happens, real estate litigation tends to happen to, as the involved parties seek a legal remedy to their disagreement.

Sometimes litigation happens when a company puts toxins into the air, water or land, and that affects the quality of life and property values of people who live in the affected area. That happened in the community called The Acreage, which has 50,000 residents, all of whom may be potential beneficiaries in a new lawsuit if a United States district judge agrees to grant them that status. The lawsuit alleges that an aerospace manufacturer released toxins into the land and that those toxins put local residents at risk for cancer and adversely affected property values in the community as well.

The judge’s decision about the status of the residents in the lawsuit will simply be about whether or not they can have class action status, grouping multiple lawsuits together. Deciding whether the aerospace company is culpable for what has been alleged against them will take longer, and if the verdict proves to be against them, settlements will take some time to arrange for after that. The aerospace company, of course, is currently denying its culpability, and people with views on both sides of the matter have weighed in. Two things that are known are that the Florida Department of Health officially designated the community a cancer cluster, and the case will be fought hard by all involved.

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “Judge asked to give Acreage residents class status in Pratt & Whitney lawsuit,” Austen Erblat, Jan. 23, 2018

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