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Battle between Tallevast residents and Lockheed Martin eases with civil suit settlement over groundwater contamination

A nearly decade-long battle waging between 270 residents of the small community of Tallevast and Fortune 500 giant Lockheed Martin appears to be easing with the pending settlement of a civil suit over contaminated groundwater, the Miami Herald reports.

Our South Florida premises liability attorneys have been monitoring the complex case where long-toxic, tainted, property changed hands several times and attaching liability became an epic legal struggle. It is believed that groundwater supplying the small community first became tainted more than 40 years ago when the American Beryllium Co. operated a plant manufacturing parts for nuclear warheads. In 1996, the land was purchased by Lockheed Martin and the plant was shuttered.

A 2007 Sarasota Herald-Tribune article reveals that Lockheed Martin was aware that pollutants existed in the soil and groundwater before selling the property, and for several years failed to disclose to state and local officials and Tallavast residents that area well water was contaminated with potentially toxic levels of TCE, or tricholoroethylene. TCE is a compound linked to lung, liver and kidney cancer, leukemia and lymphoma.

Three other resident lawsuits remain as residents continued to fight to have Lockheed Martin foot the bill to relocate 80 homes in the community from the contaminated site. The company argues it has taken steps to make Tallavast a safe place to live, but, at the same time, admits it will take 50 years to eradicate traces of the pollutant from the soil.

Neither Tallavast residents, nor their lawyers, are buying it. Meanwhile, 275 wells continue to monitor environmental impacts of the pollution plume and the state is launching a $125,000 door-to-door study that will detail family medical histories, among other things.

South Florida personal injury attorneys at Freeman & Mallard understand the complexities involved in injuries sustained while on someone else’s property, or due to a property owner’s negligence or neglect. If you have been injured or someone you love has been injured or killed due to the oversight or inaction of a property owner or manager, our team can help. We have successfully and aggressively represented injury victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.

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