Sherwin-Williams Facility Toxic Chemical Environmental Damage Class Action

The complaint for this class action says this about some of its plaintiffs: The Laffertys’ minor daughter has leukemia (cancer). Sandra Keating, who exercised in public walking areas three times a week, has kidney disease. Lauren Procajlo has Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer). The Littlefields’ minor daughter has neuroblastoma (cancer). Gina Hyndman has been diagnosed with a learning disability.

What do they have in common? They all live in Gibbsboro, New Jersey, where Sherwin-Williams operated a paint factory and contaminant disposal facilities, on various parcels of land, from the early 1930s until 1978—land which the complaint alleges has been discovered to be highly contaminated with toxic chemicals.

The proposed classes for this action are defined as follows:

  • The Overall Class includes all persons who live or operate a business in Gibbsboro, NJ and have no known medical diagnosis of cancer or other adverse medical condition.
  • The Injured Subclass includes all persons who live or operate a business in Gibbsboro, MH and have been diagnosed with an adverse physical condition, including cancer.

Sherwin-Williams disposed of waste products on three separate sites in the area, and all three have been designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as Superfund Sites—very polluted sites requiring long-term measures for clean-up. However, the complaint alleges that the contaminants at these sites has by now spread throughout Gibbsboro’s 2.2 mile area, putting all those who live, play, and work there at risk.

The complaint claims that the company used hazardous substances, including lead, arsenic, pentachlorophenol, aluminum, manganese, iron, pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated, biphenyls, cadmium, benzo-anthracene, benzo-pyrene, pyrene, copper, mercury, zinc, vanadium and benzene, and all of which have been recognized as “toxic and ultra-hazardous” for decades. In 1948, for example, the American Petroleum Institute said that the only safe level of exposure to benzene was 0%. Sample testing performed on the old Sherwin-Williams site has found an even longer list of hazardous substances.

However, a few years after the company closed the site, the complaint says, it sold it to a developer who turned it into a business complex. As time has passed, the complaint claims, the toxic substances have migrated into the soil, air, and water of surrounding properties.

The complaint claims that at least 50% of the homes in Gibbsboro are within a mile of the center of the site, that children are exposed to lead by playing in contaminated soil, and that residents of the town are exposed to chemicals by swimming in waters contaminated by runoff.

Although the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) inspected the area and found hazardous substances in the groundwater as early as 1975, the company continued operating the site for another three years. The NJDEP referred the case to the EPA in 1998.

The complaint alleges that the company has contaminated both public and private property and that its efforts to clean up its toxic sites have been superficial and insufficient. It claims that Sherwin-Williams knew, or should have known, about the toxicity of its materials, but that the company hid the truth about the extent of the contamination and the dangers it posed.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Sherwin-Williams Facility Toxic Chemical Environmental Damage Class Action

August 22, 2017

The complaint for this class action alleges that Gibbsboro, New Jersey has been contaminated by hazardous materials from a former Sherwin-Williams paint factory and its disposal facilities, operated on various parcels of land from the early 1930s until 1978. The complaint alleges that contaminants have migrated into public and private property and that the company’s efforts to clean up its toxic sites have been superficial and insufficient. It claims that Sherwin-Williams knew, or should have known, about the toxicity of its materials, but that the company hid the truth about the extent of the contamination and the dangers it posed. Plaintiffs in the case include several who have cancer or other problems that could have been caused by the contaminants.

sherwin_williams_environmental_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Sherwin-Williams Facility Toxic Chemical Environmental Damage Class Action

August 22, 2017

The complaint for this class action alleges that Gibbsboro, New Jersey has been contaminated by hazardous materials from a former Sherwin-Williams paint factory and its disposal facilities, operated on various parcels of land from the early 1930s until 1978. The complaint alleges that contaminants have migrated into public and private property and that the company’s efforts to clean up its toxic sites have been superficial and insufficient. It claims that Sherwin-Williams knew, or should have known, about the toxicity of its materials, but that the company hid the truth about the extent of the contamination and the dangers it posed. Plaintiffs in the case include several who have cancer or other problems that could have been caused by the contaminants.

sherwin_williams_environmental_complaint.pdf
Tags: Environmental, Environmental Damage, Hazardous or Toxic Materials