Posted October 01, 2018 05:04:54A group of Cincinnati veterans has filed a lawsuit against the city and Recreation Commissioner Kevin Dolan claiming that the Recreation Commission is not taking the steps to keep its veterans safe and out of harm’s way.
The suit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio seeks class action status on behalf of the Cincinnati Veterans of Foreign Wars.
It seeks $25 million in damages for the “unjustified and negligent” harm suffered by veterans and other veterans who were harmed by toxic chemicals found in the wastewater treatment facility, the suit said.
The complaint comes amid rising concern about the spread of Legionnaires’ disease among veterans in the city, as well as rising reports of cases of respiratory illnesses among veterans and others.
The complaint alleges the Commission has “failed to act to protect the health and well-being of its employees and veterans.”
Cincinnati’s water treatment facility has been at the center of a federal investigation into Legionnaires disease.
More than 300 Legionnaires cases were reported in Cincinnati last year, including 17 deaths, according to data from the Cincinnati Department of Health.
The Legionnaires were identified in water that was treated by the facility, and the contaminants were found in wastewater from the facility’s waste treatment plant.
The Department of Public Health said this year that there were 675 cases of Legionella in the Cincinnati area last year.
A Legionnaires outbreak has been tied to an industrial waste dump that dumped toxic chemicals in the water supply.
The lawsuit said the contaminated water was used by the city to treat wastewater at the dump, which was also used to treat the wastewater from a private industrial waste landfill.
The Cincinnati Waste Management Department, which owns the landfill, has denied any wrongdoing.
The department has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
The city is working to address the Legionnaires problem, which the lawsuit said has impacted thousands of veterans and their families, as has the issue of Legionnaire’s disease among those who work in the waste industry.
The city is seeking an injunction against the dumping of toxic chemicals and the removal of the dumping site, the lawsuit stated.