Many people trust that the water that comes out of their faucets is safe to use and drink in everyday life. However, some communities face significant dangers from polluted water. When companies and local governments fail to prioritize public health and safety, chemical and other forms of water contamination can cause serious harm to public health.
You could hold the negligent party or parties responsible for the harm you suffered. A water contamination lawsuit lawyer from Dismuke Law can help you understand your options and handle all the legal details of your case. Read on to learn more about water contamination cases and if you could be eligible to bring a case.
Types of Water Contamination
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), certain elements can contaminate water and pose a hazard to public health. Some major types of water contaminants include the following:
- Chemical contaminants – Such as arsenic, lead, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Radiological contaminants – Such as uranium or other forms of radioactive contamination
Biological contaminants can also pose a risk to human health, such as bacteria or parasites.
How does Water Contamination Happen?
As the EPA notes, some form of water contamination occurs naturally and poses no risk to most people. For example, sediment can contaminate a river after heavy rain, but that doesn’t mean that the sediment is dangerous.
However, many types of risky water contamination occur because of a business or local government’s negligence. Pollution can happen due to:
- Industrial processes and improper disposal
- Run-off of chemicals
- Leaks from underground storage facilities
- Oil processing
- Dumping in rivers, lakes, and oceans
- Building projects and development
- Treatment problems with sewage and wastewater
You may not yet understand how your area was contaminated or the source of the pollution—and that’s okay. A water contamination lawsuit attorney can investigate your case to understand how water pollution may have occurred and harmed you.
What Makes Water Contamination Dangerous?
Research increasingly demonstrates the risks of certain chemical contaminants to public health, including children’s health. Exposure to PFAS, VOCs, and heavy metal contamination are among the most significant threats for which injury victims may file lawsuits.
Also known as “forever chemicals,” per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are an increasingly ubiquitous class of chemicals. Found in many common household items, such as fabrics, packaging, and cooking products, PFAS are also a byproduct of many industrial processes. PFAS can be found in many environmental sources, such as the air, water, soil, and fish.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), PFAS contamination can have a significant impact on human health. Exposure to high levels of forever chemicals can negatively affect:
- Organ development
- Reproductive health
- Fetal growth
- Hormone regulation
- Immune system function
- Liver function
A study published in Environmental Research also shows that there could be a link between PFAS exposure and cancer, especially testicular and kidney cancer. Studies will continue to explore the potential carcinogenic nature of forever chemicals.
Some research even suggests that the immunotoxic properties of PFAS could contribute to an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, according to The Guardian.
Heavy Metals: Lead and Arsenic
The EPA sets limits on acceptable levels of lead and arsenic in public drinking water—and for a good reason. These heavy metals are known to have detrimental effects on the body.
Arsenic is a known carcinogen that is linked to the development of lung, liver, kidney, bladder, and skin cancer. Research from the NIH also shows that children who are exposed to arsenic through water contamination or other sources will be more likely to develop cancer as adults. The EPA states that arsenic levels in drinking water should not exceed ten parts per billion (ppb), but research has found that many communities see groundwater contamination levels above ten ppb, according to the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
Lead is another concerning heavy metal pollutant, and over 6 million people face high levels of lead exposure in their water supply, according to USA Today. Most commonly, lead pipes in a home or public water supply will corrode, leaving residents exposed. According to the EPA, there is no acceptable level of lead in public drinking water due to its serious dangers. Both adults and children can see health effects, but lead is particularly harmful to children’s development. Lead exposure in children can lead to nervous system damage, learning disabilities, hearing impairment, and other conditions, according to the EPA.
Volatile organic compounds are another class of contaminant, which can be swallowed through drinking water or inhaled as a gas. When VOCs contaminate groundwater, they’re often found below dry cleaners, gas stations, and industrial leaks or dumping, among other pollution sources.
VOCs have been linked to increased cancer risk, immune and nervous system damage, liver and kidney damage, and developmental harm among children, according to the Oregon Department of Human Services.
Federal Laws Protect Consumers Against Water Contamination
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) became federal law in 1974. This law allows the EPA to set safety standards for public drinking water. The EPA currently regulates more than 90 water contaminants, including:
- Volatile organic compounds
No federal standards exist to limit PFAS pollution. However, PFAS is still considered potentially dangerous. The EPA is monitoring and seeking to find solutions to PFAS contamination across the country.
Lawsuits for Water Contamination
If you believe your exposure to a regulated contaminant or another dangerous pollutant caused your health condition, you could have legal options. A water contamination lawsuit lawyer from our team could help you build a case against a negligent business or government entity and seek compensation for your damages.
Several types of water contamination lawsuits are allowing victims to pursue a financial recovery for their losses, including the following.
Camp LeJeune Lawsuits
Service members and their families who lived on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina faced contamination from VOCs in the public water supply on the base. VOCs entered the water system through leaking fuel tanks and a local dry cleaner.
Those on base could have been exposed through drinking, bathing, and other household water use if they lived at Camp Lejeune or MCAS between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987. If you or your family member lived on base during those periods and faced certain health concerns, you could seek federally-funded healthcare services to treat your illness and compensation through a federal program, per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
VA notes that benefits are available for those suffering from the following conditions:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal toxicity
- Parkinson’s disease
You could also be eligible to file a lawsuit and seek additional forms of financial recovery, such as for pain and suffering.
An increasing number of lawsuits are seeking to help victims of PFAS exposure seek compensation for their health conditions. Between July 2005 and March 2022, over 6,400 lawsuits related to PFAS damages were filed in federal court, according to Bloomberg Law.
These lawsuits have been filed across the country, both as individual lawsuits and mass torts. State governments have even sought compensation on behalf of communities who faced the effects of industrial negligence in PFAS handling and manufacturing. (Michigan Department of Attorney General)
Plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against the following companies:
- DuPont de Nemours, Inc.
- 3M Co.
- Chemguard Inc.
- Kidde-Fenwal Inc.
- National Foam Inc.
- Dynax Corp.
These companies could eventually pay billions of dollars in lawsuit settlements. In one recent case, for instance, a Vermont class action lawsuit secured $30 million in compensation for Bennington, Vermont residents who faced damages from water pollution, according to The National Law Review.
The 2016 water crisis in Flint, Michigan, left thousands of people exposed to excessive lead levels in the public water supply and without access to safe drinking water. To date, this is one of the most high-profile lead contamination cases, which led to a settlement for Flint residents of over $600 million, according to the Michigan Department of Attorney General.
Lawsuits based on lead contamination are likely to increase in the coming years as studies continue to reveal the negative health effects of lead and communities exposed to its dangers. Both city and state governments could face liability for a contaminated public water supply. It may also be possible to hold contractors, landlords, or other parties accountable.
How do I Know if I’m Eligible to File a Water Contamination Lawsuit?
Every water contamination case is unique. Depending on the nature of your injuries, the evidence in your case, and the potentially liable party or parties, you could be eligible to bring a lawsuit.
In general, you’ll need to have proof of the following to bring a successful injury case:
- You were harmed by water contamination, such as from a cancer diagnosis.
- Your health condition led to damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, or other losses.
- The liable party (such as a government, business, or individual) was directly responsible for your injuries and damages.
However, there may be other ways to prove that you deserve compensation after facing water pollution. Don’t dismiss your chances of seeking compensation on your own.
To know for sure if you could have a case, a water contamination lawsuit lawyer’s team can investigate your situation and explain your options. Our attorneys know how to help you go after the compensation you need and deserve.
What Types of Compensation Could I Receive From a Water Contamination Lawsuit?
The consequences of water contamination can be devastating—physically, emotionally, and financially. Through a lawsuit, you could seek compensation for many forms of damages, including:
- Medical bills: This includes medications, surgeries, hospitalizations, chemotherapy, therapy or rehabilitation, or other medical treatment to deal with your health condition. You can seek a recovery for your past, present, and future expected treatment expenses.
- Lost income: This could include paychecks you missed because of your health condition. You could even get compensation for a reduced ability to earn income in the future.
- Non-economic damages: You could have faced significant emotional and psychological challenges because of your health condition. This, too, could be recoverable through pain and suffering damages.
- Wrongful death damages: You could seek compensation if you lost a loved one to a health condition related to water contamination. This could help you receive funds to pay for medical bills, funeral expenses, income losses, and more.
Other damages could be available, depending on your case’s details. A water contamination lawyer from our team can work to understand all the ways that water contamination affects your life. They can then explain what you may be able to seek through a lawsuit.
How Can a Lawyer from Dismuke Law Help Me With My Water Contamination Case?
Bringing a lawsuit against a major corporation or government entity can be intimidating and complex. You may want to work with a lawyer who understands how to bring a water contamination lawsuit.
An attorney from Dismuke Law can handle every step of your case for you. We can:
- Collect evidence to show that you were harmed by water contamination
- Identify the liable party and connect your damages to their actions
- Communicate with all third parties in the case for you
- Represent your best interests throughout your case
- Seek the best possible financial recovery available through a settlement or court award
- Handle all the paperwork for you
- Anticipate how any federal, state, or local laws may affect your case
We understand that the lawsuit process can seem confusing. We will keep you updated throughout the process and advise you on your legal options from start to finish of your case.
Why Choose Dismuke Law for Your Water Contamination Case?
Our attorneys understand how to go after the compensation you need and deserve. Here are some reasons to choose Dismuke Law for your case:
- We have a track record of winning six-figure settlements for injury victims in Central Florida.
- Our founding attorney, David C. Dismuke, is a Florida Board-Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. That means we aren’t afraid to take your case to a jury trial.
- We take a personalized approach to each case. You can expect a high level of client service and tailored resources dedicated to your water contamination lawsuit.
- We work based on contingency fees, so you owe us nothing unless and until we win your case.
If you call us for a free case review, we can tell you more about our services and how we’ll help you navigate your case.
Contact Dismuke Law for a Free Case Review and Help With Your Water Contamination Lawsuit
You shouldn’t have to pay for the harm that someone else’s negligence caused. Our law firm is ready to get to work on your water contamination case. We will fight for the justice and compensation you need so you can get back to your life.
Contact Dismuke Law at (863) 250-5050 to learn more about your legal options today. We offer free, no-obligation case reviews.