Judge considers Love Canal lawsuit

Sept. 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM
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LOCKPORT, N.Y., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A suit stemming from the alleged recent release of chemicals in the Love Canal containment area of Niagara Falls, N.Y., will be addressed, court documents said.

Niagara County Court Judge Matthew J. Murphy III will decide within the next few weeks if the City of Niagara Falls should escape from a $113.6 million suit filed in April by three families who claim health problems, including a baby with severe birth defects, were caused by chemicals leaking from the containment area, the Buffalo (N.Y.) News reported Monday.

Love Canal, a residential area, became synonymous with environmental disaster in the 1970s after discovery of a buildup of toxic and radioactive material from local industrial facilities leaking into water and the ground.

The lawsuit came after an effort to repair a local sewer line in 2011 discharged chemicals of the same type, and that a leak was observed in the basement of one of the plaintiffs' homes.

The plaintiffs "assert they were exposed to chemicals over a long period of time, as well as acutely when a trench was opened up," said plaintiffs' attorney Christen Civiletto Morris, adding "the City of Niagara Falls was responsible for plugging a sewer that would have prevented a rush of chemicals into their home."

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