What if I believe thatmy neighborhood is contaminated?

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What if I believe thatmy neighborhood is contaminated?

For many years, my family and neighbors have always been of the belief that our neighborhood may have some type of toxic contamination that is causing the residents on our street health problems. In the last 10-15 years, there has been an increasing and staggering amount of people (more than 25+, many in the same house) who have contracted cancer (some dying) among other serious illnesses (including my own mother, my grandmother, pets, etc). Too many for such a small neighborhood – 15 houses or less. Should we speak with a personal injury attorney? In Smyrna, GA.

Asked on February 10, 2011 under Personal Injury, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you believe this is the case, you should speak with a personal injury attorney. You might look for ones who have handled "toxic torts" or other cases involving contamination; you should also speak with your neighbors and get a sense if others among them may feel the same way you do and might be willing to join in a group or even class action suit (depending on numbers)--the more plaintiffs, the more pressure on any responsible company to settle and also the more potential compensation for the lawyer, making the attorney more motivated. Also, if you know of any possible contaminators--e.g. companies that may have contaminated the water, ground, etc.,--bring that information with you when you consult with a lawyer. Note that these cases can be very difficult and expensive to prove, so unless there is some clear malafactor and some decent evidence available, it may be impossible to effectively pursue this.

 You may wish to read A Civil Action, Jonathon Harr, which is a very good novelized account of this sort of case; it's an easy-to-read introduction to many of the issues.


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