Construction of Pipeline in Florida Has Those Nearby Worried About Accidents
Florida citizens upset about the construction of a $3.2 billion natural gas pipeline that will stretch 268 miles (or 829 kilometers) from Alabama to Florida have started protesting against its construction, concerned that it will threaten the environment, freshwater supply, and the state’s future in solar energy. Some are also concerned that an accident could harm property owners and others who live close to the pipeline.
In fact, those who have lived close to natural gas pipelines know that explosions do occur, and people lose their lives as a result. If leaks or other accidents do occur, sometimes those harmed by it can bring personal injury claims as a result.
According to protesters, the pipeline will traverse some of the most biologically diverse areas of the country, potentially jeopardizing the Suwannee River and the Everglades. Earlier this month, several women were arrested while protesting and charged with trespassing and resisting without violence.
What many do not realize is that there have already been lives lost over pipelines in Florida: earlier this month, three construction company employees and a Florida utility worker died from a combination of toxic gases inhaled in a Key Largo underground pipeline. A firefighter who went in to save them also collapsed seconds after entering. Tests performed found high concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide gases, with very little oxygen available.
And then there are also the “unseen” harms: the well water which can be polluted, as well as the toxic chemicals that can leach into the groundwater. Water contamination can cause illness and serious health risks, including damage to the kidneys, liver, birth defects, cancer, brain, and other issues.
Last August, environmental organizations filed a federal lawsuit to stop the pipeline’s construction, and if it is built, nearby landowners can sue for being harmed by the environmental contamination, particularly if the groundwater becomes contaminated and unsafe to drink and/or use for irrigation purposes. In addition to personal injury claims that can be brought under state, such as trespass, nuisance, and negligence, citizens are also empowered to file claims under the federal Clean Water Act if they have been affected by water contamination.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Florida
Personal injuries cover any type of injuries related to negligent or even intentional conduct by someone else, including a company. If your health or land has been damaged by the construction of a pipeline or anything else that poses a risk of contamination in Florida, you may want to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options. This includes any potential wrongful death claims you may wish to bring on behalf of loved ones who’ve lost their lives. Contact Lavalle Brown & Ronan today for a free consultation and we’ll explain what your options are.