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Kruger Law Firm Files a Mass Tort Lawsuit Against Chiquita Canyon Landfill for Over 800 Affected Residents, Schoolchildren and Employees in Val Verde, Castaic and Valencia, CA

“Chiquita Canyon Landfill (Waste Connections, Inc.) has created a toxic hazard for the community” attorney Jackie Kruger states. “The toxic chemicals in the air and runoff – caused by the failure to contain the waste in a safe manner – has created physical, mental, and economic harm to the people of the surrounding community and has prevented them from living their day to day lives.”

“I just want to be able to hold my wife again,” grieves an afflicted longtime resident of Val Verde and current plaintiff represented by Kruger Law Firm.

Husband and wife, Sargon (Sarge) and Doris Eshaya, have lived in Val Verde for over 16 years. Instead of enjoying their balcony, overlooking the rolling valleys, or strolling through their neighborhood budding with bloom together, for the last year Sarge and Doris have been cut off from the rest of their community and from each other.

“We’ve tried to sleep in the same bed, like we’ve always done, but it’s just too painful and uncomfortable now,” Doris recalls teary-eyed. “There are nights where my head feels like it’s being pounded by the sound of my heartbeat!”

Doris’s debilitating symptoms kick-started as soon as she began to smell the foul-smelling odors from the nearby landfill (Chiquita Canyon). Sarge and Doris no longer enjoy outdoor activities, suffering from instant headaches and plagued with nausea if outside too long. Over the past year, Doris’s symptoms have become so severe that she is required to sleep alone to help with her recurring insomnia. Sarge remarks he never realized what holding his wife to sleep meant to him till it was taken away.

Children going to schools in proximity to the landfill are especially vulnerable during this time. California Education Code (EC) Section 32281(a) holds that, “Each school district and county office of education is responsible for the overall development of all comprehensive methods to create a safe school environment for students grades K to 12, inclusive.”

“My daughter was the healthiest kid until the past year,” explains a disgruntled Castaic Elementary and Live Oak elementary parent who is a current plaintiff represented by Kruger Law Firm. “Now, she’s constantly sick and riddled with nausea. I don’t know whether it’s worse to leave her home or take her to school at this point!”

On numerous occasions over the past year, this local resident and parent of the Castaic District has routinely taken her eight-year-old daughter to the hospital for severe headache, nausea, and allergy symptoms. Her daughter now relies on a cocktail of prescribed over-the-counter medication to help mitigate her symptoms.

Since the emergence of toxic chemicals from Chiquita Canyon Landfill, Live Oak and Castaic Elementary (as well as other local school district) parents are stuck trying to answer a near-impossible question – Is it better to take children out of school and risk them falling behind or bring them to school and risk their health and wellbeing?

Other local parents have noted the frustrating reality of pulling their child temporarily out of school for safety reasons. As more and more parents forgo risking their children’s safety from toxic exposure at school, they are being met with threatening truancy letters from the school.

One anonymous Live Oak Elementary parent asserts, “The exposure my son gets at school is 100% worse than the exposure he’s getting at home. What am I supposed to do?”

Many Live Oak Elementary parents pointed out the irony of the school requiring children to stay home if they are sick while simultaneously punishing the parent and child with a truancy letter if kept at home.

There has been no attempt made by Chiquita Canyon Landfill nor the local school districts to create accommodations for parents and children as they endure the perpetual suffering caused by the landfill toxins.

Thousands of employees that work near the landfill every day are also being affected. Nearby are Amazon warehouses, fire stations and entertainment studios. Many, if not most of these employees are being exposed to elevated levels of toxic benzene (often at or above the Recommended Exposure Limit [REL] of 0.8ppm according to the landfill’s own air monitoring system) and are plaintiffs in Kruger Law Firm’s lawsuit.

Employees working in close proximity to Chiquita Canyon Landfill are entitled to a safe work environment and are protected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA and California Labor Code § 6400, which states “Every employer shall furnish employment and a place of employment that is safe and healthful for the employees therein.”  Attorney Jackie Kruger says, “The toxic fumes emanating from Chiquita Canyon landfill have put employers at risk of liability for workers that are being exposed on the job.”

Although it’s been nearly 300 days since the initial spike in AQMD (Air Quality Management District) complaints, California has still not declared this situation a State of Emergency. Residents and employees are primarily depending on the legal action being pursued on their behalf to help them out of their current dire situation. If a State of Emergency were to be declared, it would open up resources and allow residents’ homeowners insurance to cover relocation costs. For comparison, the 2015 Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, less than 20 miles away from Chiquita Canyon, was declared a State of Emergency after only 100 days.

“The Chiquita Canyon Landfill has created a situation where work, home & school are all unsafe.  People have been stripped of their right to exist safely,” says Jackie Kruger.

About Kruger Law Firm
Kruger Law Firm (www.krugerlawfirm.com) is a full-service environmental mass tort, personal injury, and employment law firm that has been serving clients over 15 years. The firm is well-versed in litigating large environmental cases such as gas leaks, fires, and toxic spills. Kruger Law Firm will help to attain financial compensation for any medical and non-medical damages of resident and local businesses/employees of the affected area.


SOURCE Kruger Law Firm

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/kruger-law-firm-files-a-mass-tort-lawsuit-against-chiquita-canyon-landfill-for-over-800-affected-residents-schoolchildren-and-employees-in-val-verde-castaic-and-valencia-ca-302161770.html
Images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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