Lippes gets ball rolling on lawsuit

The Tonawanda News

June 27, 2007

By Dan Miner

Love Canal attorney Richard Lippes took the first steps Tuesday toward suing the Town of Tonawanda, filing a notice of claim on behalf of more than 20 City of Tonawanda families who say their quality of life has been severely hampered by the adjacent Town of Tonawanda landfill.

The town now has a 60-day period to hold a hearing investigating the claims made against them, but Lippes said notice of claims usually result in full-blown litigation.

"This is the first step," he said. "We're claiming that people who live on the streets abutting and nearby the landfill have had their quality of life adversely affected."

Lippes says there will be at least one more notice filed with the town on behalf of more residents who have yet to ink their signatures on the claim. He's also putting the town on notice for personal injuries, so that another lawsuit could be filed if it's confirmed that there is a higher level of disease in the residential areas near the landfill.

Town Attorney Daniel Cavarello was not in the office Tuesday and could not be reached for comment. Ron Moline, the town's supervisor, declined to comment and directed questions to Cavarello.

"I can't comment directly on legal matters," Moline said.

Lippes held a news conference June 8 with members of the grass roots organization Clean Up Riverview's Environment, announcing that the notice of claim would follow. He's said in the past that if the lawsuit is won it will not impact the closure or cleanup of the landfill.

Contact reporter Dan Miner at 693-1000, ext. 115

Copyright 2007, Tonawanda News