The Lockheed Martin Corporation is an aerospace, defense, arms, security and advanced technology company with a facility located here in the greater Orlando area. The company is also responsible for storing and disposing of hazardous waste such as:
- Oils and greases
- Sludges from electroplating solutions and metallic hydroxide
- Acid and alkali solutions
- Chromate rinse water
Recent lawsuit alleges 'environmental nightmare'
Recently, a class-action lawsuit was brought against the company due to an alleged "environmental nightmare" at its Sand Hill Road location in Orlando. The company was accused of mishandling hazardous toxins and releasing contaminants into the soil and groundwater from the 1950s through the 1980s.
The hazardous toxins have been dubbed "the most toxic to human health on earth." The contamination of soil and groundwater was so widespread that it affected surrounding communities. A 53-page case out of Florida points out that the company utilized toxins that "require the utmost care and handling" since 1957. The case alleges that the company has stored hazardous toxins in leaking storage tanks and transported them in leaking underground piping systems. In addition, the company "dumped thousands of tons of highly toxic waste sludges" into trenches located throughout the facility.
What hazardous toxins were released?
According to a complaint filed against Lockheed Martin Corporation, the contaminants released into soil, groundwater and the atmosphere include:
- Heavy metals — this often includes metals that are hazardous to human health, such as aluminum, mercury, lead, chromium, arsenic and cadmium.
- Persistent environmental pollutants — these are toxic chemicals that can accumulate and persist in the environment for several years.
- Volatile organic compounds — these are organic chemicals and gases that are emitted into the air and can have short- and long-term adverse health effects, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The lawsuit points out that the EPA has established a regulatory limit of 5 parts per billion (ppb) for contaminants. Concentrations of methylene chloride (a solvent used in paint strippers and removers) as high as 213,600 ppb and trichloroethylene (an industrial solvent used to degrease metal) of 386,000 ppb have been detected in groundwater under the company's Orlando facility.
Lockheed Martin Corporation attempted to mitigate the problem by installing air strippers, air sparge systems and soil vapor extraction systems to treat contaminated soil. The lawsuit alleges that this only transformed the pollutants into gaseous toxins. It alleges it also increased the risk of exposure to surrounding communities. This has put residents and workers at risk of contracting cancer and other severe diseases and health conditions.
What risk does this pose to human health?
The company should have known about the dangers to human health posed by these hazardous toxic substances. Exposure to these toxins can result in:
- Blood disorders
- Damage to the liver, kidneys, skin, heart, respiratory system and immune system
- Birth defects
- Developmental disorders in children
Contact an attorney in central Florida if your family was affected
Are you or a loved one suffering from a disease or health condition linked to exposure to hazardous toxins? If so, it's critical that you speak to an experienced central Florida personal injury lawyer. The legal team at the Law Offices of Scott M. Miller, PLLC would like to sit down with you and discuss your legal options.
Our law firm is committed to providing the best possible legal representation to victims of negligence or recklessness. We offer free initial consultations and will not charge you any fees unless we win your case. Contact us online today to find out how we can help you.