February 19, 2019

Event to host discussion on potential health, legal impacts of allegations that local utility agency, developers are contaminating communities with cancerous toxins 

On Tuesday, February 19, leading lawyers and a scientific expert will host a townhall meeting to discuss health and legal ramifications tied to allegations that local utility authorities and real estate developers are polluting Orlando communities with dangerous contaminants.  The event will be led by Theodore J. Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Steve Morrisey of Susman Godfrey LLP, lead counsel in a property damage class action suit alleging the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) contaminated the properties of more than 30,000 residents with toxic byproducts from the utility’s coal-fired power plants at the Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center. The attorneys will be also be joined by Dr. Stephen B. Ellingson, an expert on testing and human and ecological risk assessment with over 30 years of experience in environmental issues.

WHAT:          Townhall meeting to discuss potential health and legal impacts of accusations that OUC and developers are polluting local communities with cancerous toxins

WHEN:           February 19, 2019; 6 PM EST  

WHERE:        Double Tree by Hilton Orlando East-UCF

                        12125 High Tech Ave, Orlando, FL 32817

WHO:             Theodore J. Leopold, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

                        Steve Morrissey, Susman Godfrey LLP

                        Dr. Stephen B. Ellingson, Vatten Associates 

RSVP (Required): If you are interested in attending, email cohenmilstein@berlinrosen.com to RSVP 

 

BACKGROUND:

On December 20, 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed in Florida state court alleging that the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), a municipally owned public utility providing electric and water service to Orlando citizens, contaminated the properties of more than 30,000 residents with toxic byproducts from the utility’s coal-fired power plants at the Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center. The lawsuit, brought by residents of Stoneybrook, Avalon Park, Eastwood and other communities in the area immediately north of the power plant, argues that residents have been deprived of fair use of their properties and need remediation to prevent future harm. The plaintiffs also allege that developers of this area — including Lennar Corporation, U.S. Home Corporation, Avalon Park Group Management, Inc., and the principal of Avalon Park Group, Beat Kahli— are liable for property damage as they marketed, developed, built, and managed neighborhoods in the shadow of the OUC’s coal plant without warning residents of the severe health risks while also failing to address the significant pollution.

The lawsuit—the first of its kind in the state—was filed after months of investigation and testing. Test results of soil samples conducted by experts on behalf of the plaintiffs’ legal team revealed that pollution from the power plant has contaminated homes in these communities with carcinogenic toxins at levels in excess of state and federal regulatory standards critical to protecting human health. In addition, studies also found the presence of high levels of polonium—a highly radioactive byproduct of coal ash associated with a range of cancers, genetic disorders, and other adverse health effects.