One of the world’s largest power generating companies allegedly caused horrendous birth defects, lung injuries, and other acute and chronic medical problems from illegally dumping more than 100 million pounds of toxic coal ash onto a pristine Caribbean beachfront, according to a mass tort lawsuit filed late November 4th against Arlington, Virginia-based AES Corporation (“AES”). The eight-count lawsuit on behalf of 11 plaintiffs, living and dead, from the small rural village of Arroyo Barril in the Dominican Republic was filed in Delaware Superior Court.
According to the complaint, AES befouled the environment around Arroyo Barril in 2003 and 2004 by dumping mountains of toxic, heavy metal-laden coal ash waste from its Puerto Rico plant onto a beachfront hill, according to the Complaint.
After it was dumped, friable ash blanketed the area with choking dust that immediately injured lungs and damaged skin, according to Robert T. Vance, Jr., name partner of the Philadelphia Law Firm of Robert T. Vance, Jr. The complaint alleges that the company dumped more than one hundred million pounds of toxic coal ash in the Dominican Republic in 2003 and 2004.
In 2006, AES was sued in the Eastern District of Virginia by the government of the Dominican Republic. The matter settled but the injured residents across Arroyo Barril and the island nation’s Samana region were not compensated because the case had been brought by the Dominican government for illegal dumping on the island nation’s beach. That case is believed to have been settled for approximately $6 million and remains under seal.
After the toxic coal ash was dumped and residents began complaining, AES made repeated false representations to the media and the public that the coal ash waste it dumped onto the Samana Bay beachfront was not toxic or harmful to life or health and had beneficial uses, the Complaint alleges.
Coal ash waste contains arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel and vanadium. Among the birth defects suffered by the plaintiffs and detailed in the Complaint are missing limbs, failed Siamese twinning, severe gastrointestinal anomalies, bony anomalies, a missing kidney, and severe cranial anomalies.
Visit http://www.toxic-coal-ash.net. In addition to the filed Complaint, this case-specific Web site contains photos of the victims, the beachfront hill toxic coal ash dump site and Arroyo Barril.