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Idaho Residents Consider Class-action Contamination Suit

Date: January 3, 2002

Source: News Room

A group of northern Idaho residents has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against a group of mining companies, including Asarco Incorporated, demanding the companies finance medical monitoring to identify and treat health problems allegedly caused by the companies' mining and smelting activities, which contaminated the region's water and soil with lead and other heavy metals. The suit, filed in Idaho State Court in Kootenai County, seeks to represent residents within a 21-square mile Superfund site surrounding the Bunker Hill mining complex, known as the Box, and those living within the greater Coeur d'Alene river basin, which includes an estimated 100,000 people residing in Post Falls, Idaho and Spokane, Wash. The Box -- which includes Pinehurst, Kellogg, Smelterville, and Wardner -- has undergone some cleanup and remediation of residential properties, but residents still suffer health problems from the heavy metals that remain in the ground and water supply, the suit alleges. The suit also seeks compensation for residential property owners whose property values have declined as a result of the contamination. More information: Firmani & Associates,

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