More than a dozen lawsuits have been filed against the owners of Plant Scherer, a goal-burning power plant, alleging that the facility has caused numerous health problems to residents in the surrounding area. Toxic substance lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm confirm that the Georgia facility is one of the nation’s most pollutant power plants.
Plant Scherer is located in Juliette, Georgia, near several residential neighborhoods. The stories of these residents, their health problems, confusion, and ultimate outrage, reminds one of an Erin Brockovich-type corporate cover up. One story, as reported by CNN, relays the devastating reality of toxic contamination and the consequent health effects to residents in the area.
For Robert Maddox, the problems began with nosebleeds in the middle of the night. Then, his muscles started twitching uncontrollably. A short while later he developed kidney disease, then, sclerosis of the liver. One of Maddox’s gallbladder had to be removed, and doctors gave him a one in six chance of surviving. Fortunately, Maddox is still alive to tell his story. His wife, however, and many of his neighbors were not as lucky. Maddox’s wife died of a rare form of ear cancer just three years after the couple moved in to their house near Plant Scherer.
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The man who lived in the house next door, which was recently purchased and demolished, developed abdominal cancer. A woman two doors down now suffers from devastatingly advanced dementia. Georgia Power, one of Plant Scherer’s owners, bought the house next door to Maddox and sealed the water well. The company has approached every resident of the neighborhood to do the same. To date, at least two homes have been purchased.
Plant Scherer is one of the biggest coal plants in the world, and is the largest producer of greenhouse gasses in the United States. The plant can be seen from miles away, with two 1,000 foot chimneys perpetually pumping out clouds of toxic pollutants. The coal-burning plant ranks fifth in the top power generators in the country.
The first home Georgia Power bought was owned by a woman who developed breast cancer, which physicians blatantly told her was caused by toxic environs. The second home belonged to a couple, the woman developed stomach cancer, which doctors confirmed was also caused by toxic environs. In direct opposition to these testimonies, a spokesman for Georgia Power claims that the company has not been approaching residents for buy-outs.
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One woman had her hair tested for toxins – the hair stores chemicals and pollutants absorbed in the body for up to two years. The tests found her hair was 68 parts uranium per million, and doctors immediately confirmed that her and her husband’s health problems were caused by uranium poisoning. Upon hearing this, another resident had her hair tested. The results were the same, and the woman ultimately succumbed to liver cancer. Residents traced the uranium poisoning to their water sources – individual wells on each property.
Coal ash is heavily concentrated with uranium, and Plant Scherer dumps hundreds of acres of coal ash each year into a pond surrounding the facility. In Georgia, much like numerous other states, coal ash ponds like this are minimally regulated, and are only required to abide by the same rules as common trash landfills. Officials at the local Environmental Integrity Project state that the ash pond is not lined at the bottom, a measure that would significantly aid in protecting public health. Several studies conducted over the past three decades have consistently shown that coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear power plant waste.
Residents and their lawyers are now requesting their wells be tested, and over a dozen lawsuits will be filed in the ensuing months, with many more expected to come. The cases are aimed at Plant Scherer’s owners: Georgia Power and Vulcan Materials, among others.
Toxic pollutant attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm warn of corporations like Georgia Power, which has been ranked the worst polluter in the nation. The EPA determined that more than 7 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are dumped into the environment each year, causing illness ranging from severe headaches to cancer. If you live near a facility such as Plant Scherer, and developed a serious injury or lost a loved one from a suspicious illness, you may be entitled to compensation, and should seek legal guidance immediately.