Environmental Injury

Lowe’s to Pay $18 Million in Penalties for Dumping Hazardous Waste

by Staff Blogger | April 7th, 2014

Companies in the United States are required by law to properly dispose of hazardous wastes and materials to protect the public from Environmental Injury. When organizations fail to dispose of these materials properly, both criminal and civil litigation may be filed to recoup damages caused by the pollution.

Such a case was highlighted in Northern California last week when Lowe’s Home Centers was ordered to pay $18 million in damages for failing to properly dispose of certain hazardous materials. Reports from the San Francisco Appeal explain 118 locations were found to have sent hazardous waste to local landfills, including items such as:

  • Pesticides
  • Aerosols
  • Paints
  • Adhesives
  • Batteries
  • Corrosives
  • Mercury-Containing Fluorescent Bulbs

The judgment includes $12.85 million in civil penalties, while approximately $2 million will be paid to environmental protection projects in areas of California potentially affected by the improper disposal of toxic materials. In addition, Lowe’s must pay more than $3 million to fund hazardous waste minimization projects and will face a permanent injunction on committing such infractions again.

The California Personal Injury Lawyers with Berg Injury Lawyers explain that little to none of the money will go to individuals affected by the pollution. That’s why the firm urges those who have been harmed by pollutants to discuss their legal rights with a qualified attorney immediately.

Thousands File Claims In Response To Chevron Refinery Fire

by Staff Blogger | August 13th, 2012

August 13, 2012

A fire at a Chevron oil refinery in Richmond, California, just south of San Francisco, has led to thousands of residents filing California environmental injury claims against the company. According to the Associated Press, as many as 3,800 individuals have filed injury claims since the fire erupted following an explosion at the facility this past Monday.

In November, an inspection by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board found a corroded pipe that was attached to the line that failed Monday. The failure allowed a gas pocket to build and then ignite, causing the explosion that burned for several hours sending plumes of black smoke into the atmosphere.

The smoke sent hundreds of residents rushing into local medical facilities with complaints of breathing problems. The number of residents who were affected prompted Chevron to open a claims center in Richmond where residents can seek damages for the medical bills and other expenses they incurred as a result of the fire.

While claims for past fires at the facility may have brought victims thousands of dollars in compensation, experts are saying that the victims in this situation can expect to receive much less.

This is why the California personal injury lawyers with Berg Injury Lawyers would like to encourage anyone who has suffered because of toxins in their environment to explore what legal options you may have by discussing your case with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.

California Bans The Use Of Tanning Beds For Minors

by Staff Blogger | October 10th, 2011

October 10, 2011

When Governor Jerry Brown signed State Bill 746 into law Sunday, California became the first state to ban the use of tanning beds for children under 18 years of age. The Oakland Tribune reports that the new law will take effect January 1st of next year.

Under current law, the state of California says that it is illegal for children 14-years-old and younger to use the beds, while teens between the age of 15 and 17 need only their parent’s permission to tan.

The author of the bill, Senator Ted Lieu, remarked after the bill passed that although 30 other states have restrictions on the age in which children can use indoor tanning facilities, the new law gives California the highest age limit in the country.

Every year, as many as 2.5 million teens tan indoors in the United States, increasing their risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent. Research by the Skin Cancer Foundation has uncovered that those who use tanning beds are also 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.

The California Defective Product Attorney with Berg Injury Lawyers are happy to see that law makers are taking steps to keep our youth safe and healthy. They would also like to encourage current tanning bed users to consider the health risks involved in tanning.

Former Employees Blow The Whistle Before And After Gas Leak Explosion

by Staff Blogger | August 9th, 2011

August 8, 2011

Several former employees of the utility company, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), have come forward to tell the public about how the company ignored repeated warnings of safety hazards concerning the integrity of gas lines throughout San Bruno, California, prior to an explosion last year that killed eight people, injured dozens, and left 55 home uninhabitable.

A gas-crew welding foreman told The Oakland Tribune, he missed out on high-paying overtime hours after telling the company’s Manager of Investigations of “potentially explosive gas leaks” and falsified records. The Manager of Investigations was subsequently laid off after taking the findings of unfixed gas leaks, which were claimed to be fixed or to not exist at all, to PG&E higher-ups. He sued PG&E for wrongful termination in 2008, but the case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum days after the filing was made.

A union safety official was also threatened with his job by PG&E executives after bringing to light dangerous working conditions for employees of the company. Allegedly, two PG&E supervisors detained him in a hotel room overnight, threatened to fire him, and made him submit to a psychiatric exam. According to a lawsuit filed against PG&E, he was found to be “mentally fit, except for anxiety that was attributable to his having been severely mistreated by PG&E.”

The California Injury Lawyers with Berg Injury Law may be able to help you settle your case if you have been hurt while on the job at no fault of your own.

California community tested for Alameda environmental injury

by bil | July 29th, 2008

July 29, 2008

According to The Oakland Tribune, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating a possible Alameda environmental injury after dangerous levels of hazardous organic compounds were found at a former metal plating site.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control previously found very high levels of trichloroethylene, cis-dichloroethene, trans dichloroethene and vinyl chloride in the possible Alameda environmental injury location.

One woman who has possibly been affected from the Alameda environmental injury suffers from multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and a rare blindness disease. Another woman in the area suffers from cancer, while her children suffer other ailments from their premature births.

Additional residents in the area also fear an Alameda environmental injury from breathing in the potential hazardous compounds in the air.

The Alameda environmental injury case has been under the investigation of the Department of Toxic Substances Control since June 2007 and is ongoing.

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E-mails show collusion to derail California’s request to allow tougher emissions laws

by bil | September 26th, 2007

The U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters appears to have led a backstage effort to block California’s request for its own, more stringent emission standard, which would have helped reduce pollution and environmental injuries in California.

The E-mail chain, released by the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, shows “the administration is trying to stack the deck against California’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.”

Governor Schwarzenegger announced that California will sue by late October if the issue is not resolved by then.

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California Department of Health Services releases study of 2006 heat wave fatalities

by bil | July 23rd, 2007

The California Department of Health Services released its 2006 analysis of California deaths relating to the heat wave that afflicted a large part of California between July 15th and August 1st of last year.

The heat wave was responsible for 140 fatalities, and included deaths in Imperial County, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Fresno, Kern, Sacramento, and San Bernardino, California.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke and can occur when people aren’t properly hydrated or are dressed in warm clothing. Nausea, vomiting, headache, and fever are symptoms to watch for.

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