Genesis GonzalezApril 18, 2018DefenseAngelia Alam – Opening StatementMatthew Tem- ChemicalRthura Cevallos- MedicalMayra Reyes- GeologistOdorico SanNicolas- EpidemiologyGenesis Gonzalez & Riley Desmarais- Companies/expert witnessesLily K. – Closing StatementStatement of ChargeSchlichtmann charged W.R. Grace & Company, of New York, and Beatrice Foods Company, of Chicago, claiming both companies had contaminated two municipal wells in East Woburn. W.R. Grace & Company and Beatrice Foods Company are being charged individually for incorrectly disposing the following chemicals:Trichloroethylene (TCE) Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA)1,2-trans-dichloroethylene (DCE)Chloroform.
W.R. Grace & Company and Beatrice Foods Company are both individually responsible for exposing the residents of Woburn, Massachusetts to the toxic amounts of chemicals and/or the dangerous illnesses, mental disease, and emotional sufferings brought about by the contamination of the water through chemicals in wells G and H. Some of the known causes of these exposing oneself to such chemicals are leukemia/ other cancers, damage to one’s organs, neurological problems, disease, and even cardiac arrhythmias.Statement of ResponsibilityI, Genesis Gonzalez, am representing W.R. Grace ; Company along with Beatrice Foods Company.
Both companies are being blamed by the plaintiffs for not properly disposing of the chemicals which were found in the wells, and they are charging us for their children becoming ill and acquiring leukemia. Neither of these companies had any involvement in the contamination of wells G and H, where the residents of Woburn received their water. Both W.R. Grace ; Company and Beatrice Foods Company followed all regulations which were required at the time of the incident. It seems the river was believed to be already contaminated before arriving to the wells, thus explaining why even though the companies’ disposed chemicals into the river, leukemia did not come from either of the companies sources. There is no way the companies are to blame for the plaintiffs claims because they managed the wells not the water in those wells.
Therefore, the chemicals that were used from W.R. Grace & Company and Beatrice Foods Company have no relation to the children of certain residents getting leukemia, as other members from my group have tried to state and prove. They need someone to blame for this series of unfortunate events and since W.R. Grace & Company and Beatrice Foods Company were local companies, they put the blame on them.Evidence for ArgumentW.R. Grace & Company and Beatrice Foods Company are being held responsible for the illness and resulting deaths of children of the residents in the Woburn, Massachusetts area due to the contamination of wells G and H which, according to the parents of the children, gave them leukemia.
W.R. Grace & Company did dispose their waste in the river behind the plants each evening and even though it tested positive for Trichloroethylene, it could not have been the cause to the illness and death of the children. W.R. Grace & Company followed all regulations to the best of their ability in that time period to keep the company safe, and they did because the chemicals they disposed of, as displayed by our experts, cannot be found in leukemia. Wells G and H were not contaminated by the company’s disposal of chemicals, but rather by the flow of the river water. We have reasons to believe the river water was contaminated before it reached wells G and H. Trichloroethylene could have been part of what created leukemia, however, it was not only Trichloroethylene, which is what the plaintiffs are arguing we disposed of incorrectly.
It is stated in Woburn’s City Hall that “Woburn’s public water supply is over 125 years old, one of the oldest systems in the state. Development of the water supply system closely followed the growth of the city’s population and industry.” This statement goes to show that the water supply in Woburn was old and could have been one of the reasons for it being contaminated which makes W.R. Grace & Company not to blame, but rather the government.Beatrice Foods Company purchased fifteen acres of land in the Woburn area where wells G and H belonged. The investigators found a dozen decaying barrels of waste that containedsome Trichloroethylene, but they were decaying because they were left for such a long period of time, leading to the conclusion that this could not have been a valid reason to charge Beatrice Foods Company.
The decaying barrels were simply on the property Beatrice Foods Company owned, they did no damage to the river nor the wells. Hence, this charge is invalid towards this Beatrice Foods Company because the barrels were simply placed there and a photograph has proven the waste shown. “Historic aerial photographs of the site showed drums of waste present on the site as early as 1968.” This quote gives proof that Beatrice Foods Company had no way of contaminating wells G and H. Although Trichloroethylene was found in these barrels, as the other experts have already testified, Trichloroethylene alone could not have caused leukemia- it was the river which was contaminated with other chemicals which reacted to the Trichloroethylene. Since Beatrice Foods Company had the barrels on the side of their property it gave the wells more contact with the river. W.R. Grace & Company and Beatrice Foods Company are both excellent companies and would never intentionally do anything to result in the illness and/or death of a human being.
Therefore having the plaintiffs accuse both of these companies for causing multiple illnesses and deaths for not correctly disposing of chemicals is wrong because it was not their fault. The plaintiffs saw this as an opportunity to put the blame on these big companies since they were neighboring the properties to wells G and H, along with the actions they took, but as has been proven, the disposal of the chemicals and the barrels could not have contaminated the wells. Both companies followed the regulations in place for the enhancement of a safe environment within and outside the company. No real identified harm came from the companies, it was simply an accusation to get retribution for the sickness and death of the Woburn children. The chemical, epidemiology, and medical experts, along with the geologist of this case have helped bring in evidence, along with my evidence, to display that Trichloroethylene had slight to zero ties towards leukemia, instead it was the river being already polluted when it reached wells G and H. How the chemicals were handled could not have caused leukemia.
In the end, the government knew the people of Woburn would be drinking from wells G and H and had the responsibility to ensure the water being drank met the Federal Safe Water Drinking Act standards, making them to blame for allowing the wells to get exposed to whatever caused leukemia.References”Case Summary.” A Civil Action- The Woburn Toxic Trial. N.p., 14 Nov.2016. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. This reference was used in my paper to prove the actions taken against W.R. Grace & Company and Beatrice Foods Company and how the plaintiffs were wrong.Chesler, David.”Woburn’s Water Supply.” Woburn’s Water Supply: Clean and Safe. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.
This reference showed it was neither W.R. Grace & Company nor Beatrice Foods Company’s fault the children became sick then died, but rather the government’s because they had the responsibility to ensure the safeness of the water since the public drinks from those wells.Myette, Charles F. “Excerpts from Area of Influence and Zone of Contribution to Superfund Site Wells G ; H Woburn, Massachusetts.” Beyond A Civil Action, U.S. Geological Survey Report. N.p.,01 Nov. 2006. Web. 16 Apr. 2017. This reference points out all of the chemicals found in the river that W.R. Grace & Company and Beatrice Foods Company had no relation, thus proving it was not their fault. It also claims leukemia could not have been caused just by this one chemical that the companies were.
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