August 13, 2019

Lawsuit: Negligence caused Legionnaires’ outbreak at hotel

Source: https://www.advisen.com, August 12, 2019

A lawsuit filed Monday alleges “negligence in the operation and maintenance of the water systems” caused a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a downtown Atlanta hotel that killed one person and potentially sickened dozens.

State and county health officials are investigating the outbreak among people who stayed at or visited the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel between June 22 and July 15. There have been 12 lab-confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease, including one person who died, and 63 probable cases, Georgia Department of Public Health spokeswoman Nancy Nydam said in an email Monday. Read more.

July 22, 2019

Kentucky to Fine Jim Beam Over Warehouse Fire, Bourbon Spill

Source: https://www.insurancejournal.com, July 15, 2019

Authorities say Jim Beam will be fined for the warehouse fire that contaminated nearby waters with bourbon and killed fish.

Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman John Mura tells WKYT-TV that there will be a penalty. He says the state Department of Fish & Wildlife may also fine the company. The cost of the fines was unclear as of last week.

A lightning strike set the Woodford County warehouse on fire July 8 and destroyed about 45,000 barrels of bourbon. The site burned for days and runoff filled with alcohol and firefighting chemicals bled into nearby rivers and creeks, removing oxygen from the water and killing fish.

The cabinet said the nearly 23-mile alcohol plume moved through the Kentucky River and into the Ohio River, where it is dissipating.…

July 2, 2019

Preston needs additional $4 million for cleanup of former Norwich Hospital site

Source: https://www.theday.com, July 1, 2019
By: Claire Bessette

The state’s use decades ago of ash from a coal-fired heating plant at the Norwich Hospital to create roadways and sidewalks throughout the property is resurfacing as an unexpected cost during the final months of the town’s cleanup of the site, which Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has proposed developing.

Environmental testing and cleanup crews have removed coal ash piles and have dug up former campus roadways to get at ash in the roadbeds. But Preston Redevelopment Agency Chairman Sean Nugent said much more extensive coal ash contamination has been detected on the property.

“We found additional ash cinders below, in some places two feet of ash, then two feet of clean (fill), then two feet of ash beneath that,” Nugent said. “We also found additional asbestos material wrapped around tree roots.”…

May 24, 2019

Family of U-Md. student who died of adenovirus files wrongful-death claim

Source: The Washington Post, May 23, 2019
Posted on: https://www.advisen.com

The family of an 18-year-old University of Maryland freshman who died of adenovirus in the fall has filed a notice of claim against the college, setting the stage for a possible lawsuit.

Ian Paregol said the death of his daughter, Olivia Shea Paregol, could have been prevented had the university disclosed that the virus was spreading through the College Park campus.

He notified the University of Maryland on Monday of the wrongful-death claim following a report by The Washington Post that revealed officials waited 18 days to tell students about the presence of adenovirus. More than 40 students would become sick, including 15 who were treated at hospitals. The university first acknowledged the virus on Nov. 19, the day after Olivia Paregol died.…

May 23, 2019

Perfluorinated Chemicals: A Rapidly Evolving Regulatory And Legal Risk Issue For Businesses

Source: http://www.mondaq.com, May 6, 2019
By: Jane Luxton, Amanda L. Tharpe and William Walsh, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

A once obscure group of chemicals known as perfluorinated chemical substances (PFAS) have gripped national headlines in recent months, due to increasing concerns over potential health risks. PFAS have been used for many years in a wide variety of products, such as non-stick cookware, cleaning and coating solutions, paper, food packaging materials, fire-fighting foam, automotive applications, upholstery, and carpeting. These chemicals have been detected in groundwater and surface water across the country, and Congress, federal and state regulators, and litigants are all taking steps in response. With the ubiquity of PFAS uses and legacy contamination, many businesses face significant business risk, often unrealized or underestimated. This rapidly evolving area requires a close watch and serious consideration of risk management and reduction strategies.…

March 4, 2019

Windsor Mill contaminant report shows impact of past use on development options

Source: https://www.berkshireeagle.com, March 3, 2019
By: Adam Shanks

The results of environmental testing at the Windsor Mill on Union Street have forced the city to consider its next steps.

“It means we have some work to do before we would take another swing trying to find a buyer for the Windsor Mill,” Mayor Thomas Bernard said of the test results, which flagged contaminants at the former industrial site.

The city announced last month that an architect’s plan to redevelop the mill at 121 Union St. — which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places — had been abandoned more than a year after it was first proposed.

Simeon Bruner’s Cambridge Development Corp. submitted the winning bid for the Windsor Mill when the city issued a request for proposals on the property in 2017.

Though Bruner’s offer of $465,000 was less than the $500,000 bid submitted by the New York-based investors who bought the Dowlin Block on Main Street, he won the support of then-Mayor Richard Alcombright followed by the City Council.…

February 25, 2019

Resort Complex OPPI Claim

The project Owner of a $100,000,000 vacation resort complex project incurred $20,000,000 in delay costs and consequential damages because the design professional failed to provide 100% completed and coordinated construction documents. The Design professionals settled for their remaining underlying policy limits of $3,400,000 and presented balance of claim under the Owners Protective Indemnity policy.…

January 8, 2019

Seven Minnesota cities sue over contaminated ponds

Source: https://www.hometownsource.com, January 8m 2019
by: Sabina Badola

Carcinogenic chemicals are costly to remove and dispose

Seven Minnesota cities, including Minnetonka, have filed identical federal lawsuits against seven companies for allegedly contaminating several ponds with toxic chemicals.

The chemicals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, also called PAHs, are found in high concentrations in coal tar sealant, a thin black coating that was commonly applied to driveways and parking lots to protect the underlying asphalt.

The state banned coal tar sealants in 2014 because PAHs pose a risk to the environment and to people. They are generally carcinogenic and, at high enough exposures, can cause cancer.

The lawsuits allege the refined coal tar manufacturers knew about the toxicity of their products and that they were not safe for use, but marketed and sold them anyway.

“This is the first lawsuit of its kind in the country,” said Nick Palladino, vice president of communications for New York-based Weitz & Luxenberg, the lead law firm on the case.

December 20, 2018

Two guests contract legionnaires disease at St. Louis County hotel

A west St. Louis County hotel could be the source of a Legionella outbreak. Preliminary test results show the legionella germ was found here at the Marriott West.

Two hotel guests were diagnosed with Legionnaires disease in October and November after staying at the Town and Country hotel.  Preliminary test results found the legionella germ in water used for drinking, showers and in the cooling system.

Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services says people can get legionnaires disease, a serious type of pneumonia, by breathing in small water droplets containing the germ. Symptoms usually develop two to ten days after being exposed to the bacteria.

The investigation is ongoing as to if the Marriott West is the source.  A culture is being done and once that is complete there will be more clear information.

Marriott West Hotel released this statement about the outbreak: “The health and well-being of our guests and team members is our top priority. As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we fully cooperated with the health department to allow them to test and evaluate all of the hotel’s systems. Preliminary traces of the bacteria were discovered in some of the samples. While MO DHSS is waiting for the final culture tests, which will take up to 10 days to grow, we are working closely with them on a plan of action to eradicate the bacteria and create and maintain a safe environment for everyone. We will continue to update everyone as the solutions are implemented and systems are re-tested for safety.”…

December 17, 2018

Environmentalists Claim 11 Georgia Coal Plants Leaking Chemicals

Source: https://www.insurancejournal.com, December 17, 2018

A study by environmental groups says 11 coal powered plants in Georgia are leaking chemicals into ground water.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice released the study Thursday that says 10 of the 11 plants are owned by Georgia Power.

The utility says repeated tests in the past several years shows chemicals from any leaks have not affected the state’s water quality.

Georgia Power is working to close all 29 of its coal ash ponds at 11 plants. The company submitted plans last month to the state Environmental Protection Division for approval to either remove, consolidate or cap the ponds.

Georgia Power’s environmental affairs manager Aaron Mitchell said the company would monitor the groundwater around the ponds for at least 30 years after closure.…