At least 49 people file notice of claim with Town of Wheatfield over Love Canal waste

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB)- People living near the Niagara Sanitation Landfill say it’s making them sick. News 4 told you in January that 16 people pursued legal action against the Town of Wheatfield. That number has now tripled.

Love Canal waste was moved to the landfill in the 60’s. Remediation of that waste finished last year.

At least 49 people have now filed notices of claim arguing the Town of Wheatfield was negligent, careless and didn’t do enough to prevent exposure.

Notices of claims were dropped off to the town clerk as recently as Tuesday afternoon. The damages sought in those claims add up to more than two billion dollars.

“Something has to happen so me and my family can have a house to live in” said Cory D’Agostino, a Forbes St. homeowner.

He told News 4 he never would’ve moved into his home 10 years ago if he knew how it would affect his family.

“I can’t even live in my own house,” said D’Agostino.

He told us his 24 year old son has liver and thyroid problems and his 12 year old daughter has health problems of her own.

“High levels of PCBs were found in my soil samples so I left,” he said.

There were also chemicals discovered inside the basement of his home, according to D’Agostino.

His family is now staying at a relative’s house.

D’agostino is a client of Louisiana environmental and personal injury law firm Smith Stag.

The firm hired an expert to take soil and home samples from properties near the Niagara Sanitation Landfill in November.

“We found PCBs, PAHs, DDT and dioxins,” said Attorney Mike Stag. “What we’re talking about is very toxic materials that shouldn’t be in homes.”

The results showing the presence of dioxins just came back.

According to the EPA, dioxins can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, among other health issues.

“We’re seeing everything from rashes, irritations and those types of problems but also birth defects, thyroid problems and cancers” said Stag.

The Law Offices of Smith Stag and New York City-based law firm Napoli Shkolnik have now filed 49 notes of claim with the Town of Wheatfield, each for $50 or $60 million.

“People are sick around here and it’s in our homes so now our homes are worth nothing, so what do we do now?” said D’Agostino. “What happens if my daughter is sick, who is going to help her? Twenty years, ten years down the line if she gets even sicker?”

Stag told News 4 he expects more notices of claim to be filed and they plan to take action against all responsible parties.

The DEC finished remediating the Love Canal waste that was stored at the landfill last year and plans to do more testing this spring to see if the landfill needs to be cleaned out or a cap put on it.

A 2014 DEC study concluded there was no off-site contamination.

News 4 reached out to the DEC to see if it’s aware of these tests and if it plans to take action sooner but we haven’t heard back yet.

The Town Supervisor said he cannot comment on pending litigation. Read his comments following the filing of the first 16 notices of claim, here.

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s