This is an ongoing investigation and pending class action lawsuit against the Washington DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) in which it is alleged that WASA knowingly concealed the existence of dangerously elevated levels of lead in the water supply it manages.
WASA is a public utility that provides drinking water and wastewater treatment to more than 500,000 residential, commercial and governmental customers in the District of Columbia. The class action complaint alleges that in June 2001, WASA discovered that toxic levels of lead were leaching into the drinking water it manages thereby resulting in increased levels of lead in the District of Columbia's drinking water supply. The class action lawsuit further alleges that WASA not only failed to eliminate this danger, it actually took affirmative steps to hide the lead contamination from its customers and federal authorities. At the same time, WASA encouraged the public to consume this dangerous product. The class action complaint quotes one independent expert has characterized the long-standing water contamination and WASA's efforts to keep its customers in the dark about the contamination and its consequences as perhaps "the largest environmental crime in U.S. history."
The class action lawsuit details a range of defects associated with lead poisoning in children, including decreased growth, speech and balance problems, below-average learning skills, reduced IQ levels, loss of executive function, hyperactivity and brain damage
The proposed class representative is the father of eight year-old twin boys, who allegedly were poisoned as infants when WASA provided their homes with lead-contaminated tap water that their father then used to make their formula. The class action lawsuit alleges that the boys showed signs of lead poisoning in 2002, at their two-year-old medical checkup. Both boys have experienced serious and continuing behavioral and learning difficulties and both have been diagnosed with significant problems in attention, learning and executive functioning.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Washington DC Water and Sewer Authority
Washington DC Water and Sewer Authority is a multi-jurisdictional regional utility that provides drinking water and wastewater treatment to more than 500,000 residential, commercial and governmental customers in the District of Columbia, and also collects and treats wastewater for 1.6 million customers in Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland and Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia.
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