PIKETON (WCMH) — Some Pike County residents have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against eight U.S. Department of Energy contractors, accusing them of negligence because of the release of radioactive material.
The lawsuit claims more than 2,000 people were adversely affected.
The enriched uranium detected inside Zahn’s Corner Middle School and the radioactive Neptunium detected outside, did more than force the closing of the school. It also alerted the families who live near the diffusion plant that radioactive materials may be inside their homes and on their properties.
The plaintiffs claim residents within a seven-mile radius of the plant and Zahn’s Corner students going back to 1993, “…have been and continue to be exposed to toxic and radioactive substances and are negatively impacted by toxic and radioactive releases from the Portsmouth site.”
The eight defendants are U.S. Department of Energy contractors who either carried out the enrichment operations at the plant or are involved in ongoing clean up operations.
The named plaintiffs are property owners and two children who attended the school.
The plaintiffs are demanding clean-up of their properties and whatever relief is necessary to protect human health and the environment.
The plaintiffs accuse the contractors of fraudulent concealment, saying in the suit, “…through their silence as well as their aggressive public relation efforts, have reassured the public and Plaintiffs that their operations have not contaminated nearby properties.”
The plaintiffs are demanding a federal jury hear their claims. They want to be compensated for all the property damages, and they want medical monitoring.
The defendants have yet to respond to the suit.