Leaking underground storage tanks (USTs) continue to contaminate property with dangerous petrochemicals and threaten the health and safety of people across Alabama, and the nation. Lawyers in our Toxic Torts Section are committed to protecting the rights of people whose property and personal safety have been threatened by toxic substances released from leaking USTs. On December 18, 2009, our firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of four individuals against the current and former owners of the Wheeler Dam Market, a gasoline station and convenience store located in Killen, Ala. The Alabama Underground and Above Ground Storage Tank Trust Fund was also named a Defendant pursuant to Alabama law.
Documents obtained from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management reveal that an estimated 1,500 gallons of gasoline leaked from one or more USTs located at Wheeler Dam Market and have spread through the soil and groundwater over a large area of the surrounding neighborhood. The Complaint, filed in the Circuit Court of Lauderdale County, alleges that the owners and operators of Wheeler Dam Market breeched their duty to operate, maintain, and monitor the USTs with such care as to insure the USTs would not leak and contaminate the surrounding neighborhood.
The Defendants also had a duty not to interfere with the use and enjoyment of Plaintiffs’ property. However, as a result of Defendants’ actions and omissions, gasoline and gasoline fumes have been found in the Plaintiffs’ homes and in their drinking water. Their right to exclusive possession, use and enjoyment of their property has been violated. In fact, testing of one of the Plaintiff’s drinking water revealed concentrations of benzene and other gasoline-related chemicals above the level deemed safe by the ADEM. As you probably know, benzene is a known cancer-causing agent and is most often linked to certain kinds of leukemia.
The Plaintiffs have set out five causes of action: negligence, wantonness, trespass, nuisance and strict liability. Plaintiffs seek damages they have suffered from their property’s diminution in market value, loss of use and enjoyment of their property, costs to clean up the gasoline contamination, mental anguish and other forms of relief. Rhon Jones and Chris Boutwell from our firm will be handling this case. If you need additional information you can contact Rhon or Chris at 800-898-2034 or by email at Rhon.Jones@beasleyallen.com or Chris.Boutwell@beasleyallen.com.
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