Day Care Mercury Contamination Case against Insurer Results in $208,000 Award

Mercury contamination is a serious issue and can make a building unsafe to inhabit due to potential health risks. Two owners of a day care in New Jersey shut down their business only to be informed on the same day by state officials that high levels of mercury on the premises, which used to be a thermometer factory, made it unsuitable for habitation. Lawsuits against the day care owners shortly followed with two being willingly dropped and three still pending in addition to two class action suits.

A $208,748 award has been approved by U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle in the case, Baughman v. U.S. Liability Insurance Co. U.S. Liability Ins. Co. is also expected to pay $82,695 to compensate the insureds, who owned and ran the Kiddie Kollege Daycare & Preschool in Franklin Township, N.J. The Legal Intelligencer reports that the liability carrier had previously lost its bid to refuse to defend claims over the contaminated building.

Aside from the day care center owners, defendants in the pending lawsuits include the state and Accutherm Inc. The state is being accused of knowing that the building used for the day care center has been contaminated since 1987. Accutherm Inc. is involved in the lawsuits for allegedly making the mercury thermometers on the contaminated land from 1984 to 1990.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Agency for Toxic Substances & Digestive Registery reports that young children are more sensitive and susceptible to harm from mercury exposure than adults. Nervous and digestive systems and kidney problems may manifest in children exposed to mercury. For more information on mercury and your health, click here.