Erin Takes on New York Brake Company

newyorkbrake

For decades, the New York Air Brake Co. dumped Volatile Organic Compounds such Trichlorethylene, Vinyl Chloride, cis-1,2-dichlorethene as well as PCBs into their on site landfills. In 1993, soil samples were collected from the back yards along Kelsey Creek.

Dredge spoils containing Cadmium was removed from the creek in 1995. However, no cleanup was performed at what is known as “Oily Creek” which flows through the New York Air Brake Industrial Landfill and flows for over 1 mile before it empties into Kelsey Creek.

In 1995, Cadmium was removed from dredge spoils in the creek and taken to Purdy Avenue and Industrial landfills where they were capped off. In 2008, DEC found unacceptable levels of TCE in four on site buildings and a house that had an air mitigation system. In the same year, DEC and DOH conducted soil vapour intrusion on further buildings located at the Air Brake site, 44 homes, 2 schools and 1 church. All tests rendered positive for one of the following chemicals:

  • TCE
  • Benzene
  • Toluene
  • Carbon; and
  • Tetrachloride

Many of the residents who were exposed to these chemicals have significant health concerns. Girardi and Keese, who works closely with Erin Brockovich, have agreed to represent residents whose health has been negatively impacted upon within the zone area of the “Starbuck Avenue Site”. If this case moves forward, the likely defendants will be New York Air Brake, Knorr-Bremse Group (the company’s current parent company) and SPX Corp, a North Carolina Company that was previously involved in the earlier clean up.