Lawsuit charges mining giant, real estate developers failed to warn homeowners about contamination
LAKELAND, Fla. – Homeowners in two central Florida neighborhoods built atop abandoned phosphate mines have filed a federal lawsuit against The Mosaic Company (NYSE: MOS), charging that the Minnesota-based company, as well as two real estate developers who are also defendants, failed to warn residents about widespread contamination in neighborhoods that were developed over reclaimed strip mines.
According to the lawsuit filed May 5, 2020, by The Lanier Law Firm and its co-counsel, Mosaic and two real estate developers did not disclose the presence of dangerous radiation contamination in and around the Angler’s Green and Paradise Lakes neighborhoods, which has exposed residents to gamma radiation levels many times the amount considered safe for humans.
“Mosaic was well-aware of the radiation contamination that its strip mining had caused,” said trial lawyer Mark Lanier, founder of The Lanier Law Firm. “They took all of the phosphate they could from these strip mines, then cut corners on their promise to remediate this land. It is time for this company to take responsibility.”
The lawsuit demands that Mosaic and the other defendants properly remediate the contaminated land and establish a medical monitoring fund so that residents can obtain annual screenings for medical conditions associated with exposure to gamma radiation and radon gas, both byproducts of the mining process.
A similar lawsuit filed in 2017 against mining company Drummond on behalf of residents in the Oakbridge and Grasslands neighborhoods has withstood multiple legal challenges from Drummond and is currently in the discovery phase.
The process of mining phosphate disturbs and releases naturally occurring uranium and radium-226, which produce gamma radiation and radon. Gamma rays can penetrate the body and increase the risk of a variety of cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and bone cancer. Decaying uranium also releases radon, an odorless, radioactive gas that is linked to lung cancer.
In addition to Mosaic, the lawsuit names developers Yes Companies WFC LLC and CHC VI Ltd. as defendants. The case is Christine Cruz and Steve Foster et al. v. The Mosaic Company et al., filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Cause No. 8:20-cv-01045. In addition to the Lanier Law Firm team, the plaintiffs are represented by local counsel at Nidel & Nace, PLLC.
About Nidel & Nace
Nidel & Nace combines top-tier science and litigation skills in the pursuit of justice on behalf of people injured by chemical and environmental exposures across the country. Chris Nidel, the firm’s founder, holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering from M.I.T., and attended law school after seeing the environmental and human health abuses during his time working in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
About the Lanier Law Firm
For more than 30 years, the men and women at the Lanier Law Firm have worked tirelessly, throughout the United States, to find unique and effective solutions for their clients. More than 60 skilled attorneys practice law in a broad array of areas, including business litigation, pharmaceutical litigation, asbestos exposure, oil and gas litigation, personal injury, and defective and dangerous products, among others. Named an Elite Trial Law Firm by The National Law Journal, the Lanier Law Firm has offices in Houston, New York, Los Angeles and Oklahoma City.