Our attorneys are fighting for affected residents of Harrison County
Over the last few years, residents of Clarksburg and surrounding communities in Harrison County have heard the devastating news that their drinking water has been contaminated with lead.
If you believe you or a loved one has been affected by the Clarksburg lead water crisis, you have rights—but you need to act quickly. That’s why it’s critical that you talk to an experienced attorney right away to learn more about your legal options. Our aggressive legal team at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC can fight for your rights every step of the way.
We are pursuing an active class action lawsuit against the Clarksburg Water Board over the lead levels in the water supply, in partnership with Clarksburg’s Loomis Law Office, PLLC. If you or your child has been affected by the lead crisis, contact us today for a free case review.
Attorney Bernie Layne spoke with 12 WBOY about the case. Video
Who is affected by the Clarksburg water crisis?
The Clarksburg Water Board failed to notify the public about the risk of lead exposure in the city’s drinking water, according to a 2021 investigation conducted by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. As a result, state health officials fined the city for failure to notify the public about the potential health risk.
The Clarksburg Water Board’s main system serves nearly 18,000 people through nearly 8,000 service connections in Clarksburg itself. In addition, the Water Board supplies water to other public water systems in nearby communities that serve over 38,000 others. As such, tens of thousands of people throughout Harrison County may be at risk of lead poisoning.
Certain streets and neighborhoods in Clarksburg tested extremely high for lead content in the water, including:
Tyler Avenue – 2,130 parts per billion (PPB)
Bridge Street – 726.5 PPB
Stanley Avenue – 326.6 PPB
The federal government issues warnings if the lead content is above 15 ppb. Some streets in Clarksburg are 142 times higher than that limit. Residents of homes built before 1960 are at the highest level of risk, but others may be affected as well.
Women who are pregnant or nursing and their babies are most at risk. Lead can pass from a pregnant woman to her developing baby, causing the baby to be born premature, underweight, or with harm to the brain. Lead can also pass to babies through breastmilk or formula made with contaminated water.
Lead exposure also harms adults by causing cardiovascular effects, kidney damage, reproductive problems, gastrointestinal damage, muscle and joint pain, and memory and concentration problems.
Lead poisoning is caused by lead building up in a person’s body, which can affect the brain and central nervous system as well as other parts of the body. Even so-called small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems, particularly in children under 6 years old and pregnant women.
Some of the symptoms associated with lead poisoning in children include:
Loss of appetite and weight loss
Fatigue or sluggishness
Abdominal pain and constipation
Symptoms associated with lead poisoning during pregnancy include:
Miscarriage or stillbirth
Low birth weight
Slower growth during infancy
Although lead poisoning is most dangerous for babies and children, it can also affect adults. Some warning signs of lead poisoning in adults include:
Difficulty concentrating or remembering information
Mood disorders and irritability
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Abdominal pain, stomach cramps, and constipation
Muscle and joint pain
Kidney disease and decreased kidney function
Reproductive health issues, including loss of sex drive, reduced sperm count or abnormal sperm, and pregnancy complications
However, it’s important to know that most people with lead poisoning don’t look or feel sick. Symptoms may be delayed for years after exposure. That’s why, if you have any reason to believe you may have been exposed to lead, you need to get tested. Your doctor can diagnose and measure lead poisoning with a simple blood test.
The highest risk of lead poisoning is among families with children under six who are living in homes built before 1960 and serviced by the Clarksburg Water Board. If you’re in this situation, talk to your child’s pediatrician about blood lead testing – and since lead poisoning can affect adults, too, be sure to get tested alongside your kids. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, contact the Harrison-Clarksburg Health Department for assistance with blood lead testing. The Harrison County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is also offering free lead testing for WIC clients.
For anyone affected by this crisis, talk to your doctor about blood lead testing and contact the Water Board to have your drinking water tested. You may be able to obtain bottled water or a certified water filter to remove lead from your water. In particular, use bottled water for cooking, drinking, and making baby formula, and flush your water if it’s been sitting for several hours. Remember that boiling water does not remove lead.
In addition, get legal advice immediately. This crisis was preventable – it’s the result of negligence on the part of the Water Board and related businesses. We are fighting to hold them accountable.
If you or a loved one is suffering from lead poisoning caused by contaminated drinking water supplied by Clarksburg’s water system, you may have several legal options available to you.
Again, we are actively pursuing a class action lawsuit on behalf of Clarksburg Water Board customers and others affected by the water crisis. We are seeking compensation for medical monitoring and other damages resulting from lead poisoning, including medical treatment, lost income, and other costs. We are also seeking compensation for homeowners whose property values may have been affected by the presence of lead water lines.
The Clarksburg Water Board put the public’s health at risk. You have suffered enough. Get the law firm that gets results. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation right now. We will not rest until justice is served.