LAWSUITS FILED BY CHESAPEAKE
MOTHERS OF MISCARRIAGES NIXED BY COURT
February 9, 2005
1:00 AM Eastern
The Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the 213 mothers who filed lawsuits against the City of Chesapeake who believed their miscarriages or babies born with birth defects caused by drinking local tap water (search), was successfully squashed by the city and its legal team.
The plaintiffs sued because they believed that city officials hid the truth from the public regarding the high levels of trihalomethanes in Chesapeake tap water which studies have linked to miscarriages. City officials consistently maintained any wrong doing.
The City of Chesapeake is now trying to get insurance companies to pay the $2.4 million dollar legal price tag so the taxpayers aren't burdened any further. The majority of the costs, $2.1 million went to two law firms - Williams Mullen and Breeden, Salk, Bealey & Duvall. The balance of the costs went for outside expenses such as legal documents, research attorneys and legal video specialists. The costs associated with labor from employees in the city attorney's office.
In a 24 page decision, the high court ruled that the city is protected against such lawsuits under "sovereign immunity." This legal firewall protects municipalities from lawsuits which arise from the operation of governmental functions.
The disappointment was acute and many believe the city literally got away with lying and the murder of so many unborn babies and asked the question, "If the city poisons the water and they knew the water contained dangerous levels of a particular chemical and so many women miscarried, why is no one to be held responsible?" Other babies whose mother's drank the city tap water were born with birth defects.
Mark Durning who lives in the area gave his candid opinion by saying, "Once again, government employees get away with murder. Everyone around here knows all these miscarriages happened when there was a high level of dangerous chemcials in the water. The city knew the levels were dangerous and they lied to everyone. Then after the city finally finished their $75 million dollar treatment plant, it stopped. Same old little guy getting shafted, only in this case, it's a tragedy for all the women who lost their babies and the fathers who never got to meet them."
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The plaintiffs sued because they believed that city officials hid the truth from the public regarding the high levels of trihalomethanes in Chesapeake tap water which studies have linked to miscarriages.