UPDATE: Lawsuits begin in Michigan sludge dumping case

Read the full story in Waste Dive.

The first round of lawsuits against Wolverine World Wide in Michigan have been filed, as reported by MLive. Attorneys who are representing four homeowners with contaminated drinking water say as many as 50 more cases may be filed soon.

The litigants are seeking unspecified monetary damages and cleanup of the main tannery-sludge dumpsite. The suits allege that Wolverine violated the law by not taking reasonable precautions against foreseeable outcomes like groundwater contamination, and by polluting groundwater when it left waste drums and other tannery debris on bare ground during the 1960s. The filings also allege that Wolverine knew the site was hazardous as far back as the 1970s, but took no action.

At a recent town hall meeting, an official with Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said Wolverine has not provided any waste disposal records. DEQ staff said the Environmental Protection Agency has been acting as an advisor to the response team in Michigan.

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