FORT MYERS, Fla -- The people who live in the Dunbar community, in Fort Myers, were living with toxic sludge in their own backyards and didn't know about it until 2018. That lead to a lawsuit, and now another complaint has been filed.
The people who live near the sludge added eight counts to a new complaint this week, claiming negligence, diminished property value, and the city not cleaning up the site for decades, so they want a court-supervised fund paid for by the city. They argue that would allow for medical monitoring of people who lived near the site.
Anie Freeman is one of several people who filed the complaint against the city of Fort Myers. She's has been around the sludge for nearly fifty years.
"It makes me really angry because one the average people that sit down there, I know them," Freeman said. "That stuff is making people sick, and they know that they just don’t seem to care, that’s what I can’t understand."
The plaintiffs are taking their case to federal court, attorney Scot Goldberg says doing so makes it a level playing field.
"They're not going to have to worry about being limited to $200,000 and that’s something as the city I would be concerned about," Goldberg said.
What that does to the city of Fort Myers, Goldberg says we have to wait to see how it plays out.
"So it’s just a matter of it has to play out a little bit through the discovery process to find out what the real injuries are, what the damages are and what caused them," Goldberg added.
But Freeman, on the other hand, says she wants the city to pay, whatever the cost.
"They need to lose money because if they had done it the first when it first hit the fan, and had come around and talked to the people in the community, all this wouldn’t have been ok," Freeman said.