LIVONIA, Mich. August 8, 2017 – More than 130 homeowners in the Alden Village neighborhood of Livonia, Michigan will be filing a lawsuit against Ford Motor Company, alleging that dangerous chemicals from Ford’s nearby Transmission Plant have migrated into the neighborhood, contaminating groundwater and soil, and threatening the intrusion of chemical vapors into their homes. Attorneys for the homeowners will file the suit in Wayne County Circuit Court tomorrow, August 9.
THE PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD
TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 9, AT 1:00 PM EST,
AT THE HOME OF THE LEAD PLAINTIFFS,
Bruce Tenniswood and Donna Coppola, 34921 Beacon Street, Livonia, Michigan
The lawsuit, brought by Tenniswood and Coppola and their neighbors, alleges that toxic chemicals – including carcinogens known as “Vinyl Chloride” and “Trichloroethylene,” or TCE – were spilled, poured or dumped by Ford decades ago at its plant at 36200 Plymouth Road, forming an enormous toxic chemical pool, hundreds of thousands of square feet in area, in the soil and shallow groundwater there. Since then, dangerous chemicals from this toxic pool have migrated in the area’s shallow groundwater into the Plaintiffs’ neighborhood. The homeowners only began to receive word of this in 2016.
Because of the tendency of these chemicals to turn into gas, and travel upward from the groundwater, the soil in these families’ yards is also contaminated, and the air in their neighborhood and homes is threatened with toxic chemical vapors. All of this has injured the value of the Plaintiffs’ homes, and interfered with their ability to use and enjoy their homes as they are entitled to do.
The homeowners’ allegations are very similar to those recently made in federal court by Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Late last month, MDEQ sued Ford, alleging that the company’s chemicals “have contaminated groundwater and soil” in the Alden Village neighborhood, among other places, “and may have affected air inside and/or beneath buildings and real estate located” in the neighborhood, threatening “an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment.” MDEQ’s lawsuit seeks Ford’s thorough investigation and cleanup of the contamination; the homeowners’ seeks recovery for lost property value and other monetary damages.
“As it is for most families, these families’ homes are their nest egg. It’s what they have worked their whole life to earn, and, hopefully, to leave to their children,” says homeowners’ attorney, Shawn Collins. “When toxic chemicals invade their neighborhood, it threatens not only the value of that nest egg, but also the peace and security they should be able to enjoy in their homes.”
The homeowners will also be keeping a close eye on the progress of MDEQ’s case against Ford, and whether MDEQ will have the courage and resources to demand the necessary investigation and cleanup from Ford. Because beyond compensation for property damage, the homeowners need Ford to clean up the toxic chemicals in their neighborhood, and the massive source of those chemicals sitting in a toxic pool on Ford’s property, which serves as a continuing threat to the families in the neighborhood.
Norm Berger, an attorney representing the homeowners, puts it this way: “The suit filed by MDEQ, and the investigation and cleanup that Ford has agreed on paper to do, may be a good start. But all of this will mean nothing if Ford does not conduct a thorough investigation and remediation of the enormous pool of toxic chemical it has dumped on its property. Our clients plan to stay vigilant and hold MDEQ and Ford accountable.”
The homeowners are represented by Collins, Berger, Ed Manzke and John Risvold of The Collins Law Firm in Naperville, IL, and by Jay Schwartz and Mary Mahoney of Schwartz Law Firm, P.C., of Farmington Hills, Michigan.
About The Collins Law Firm: The Collins Law Firm represents families against polluters throughout the United States, fighting for clean air, soil and water, and compensation for injury to property and health caused by dangerous chemicals dumped and spilled into the environment. For more information on The Collins Law Firm please visit: www.collinslaw.com.
Shawn Collins, cell: (630) 272-8148
Norm Berger, cell: (312) 316-8988
Yvonne Blackwell: (630) 527-1595 ext. 220