Exide was founded in 1888 and supplied batteries for all sorts of transportation around the world. Not long ago, it was a multi-billion-dollar company accused by the State of California of emitting lead pollution in the City of Vernon that threatened the health of 100,000 people and 10,000 residential properties. After allocating millions of dollars to clean-up Exide’s Vernon site, where it recycled batteries, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) sued Exide and several prior owners and operators of the site, along with companies who arranged for or transported hazardous materials to be disposed of at the site.
Exide closed its Vernon plant in 2013. State and federal officials have overseen investigation and clean-up activities, with some funding coming from Exide’s subsequent bankruptcy settlement.
But the State’s lawsuit against the other companies has continued. Now, one of those companies has decided to accuse nearby municipalities, businesses, and property owners of of being the actual cause of the lead pollution. Dozens of them have been dragged into the case. Basically, this company has argued that the real problem in Vernon isn't the years of lead pollution coming from the Exide plant; it's the lead paint and other household products people use that's caused the problems. We don't put a lot of stock in that being a winning argument. Even so, if you know anything about these types of cases, you already know that even when accused parties have had nothing to do with environmental problems, it can still take years to clear their names.
If you own property within two miles of the former Exide facility and have questions about your potential exposure and liability, reach out to give us a call.