Louisiana Lawsuit Alleges Pollution From Fire Making Residents Sick

September 27, 2013

About a dozen Slaughter, La., residents allege respiratory problems and diminished property values in a lawsuit filed in the wake of the Nov. 19 blaze that destroyed the Monolyte Laboratories Inc. chemical facility.

The Advocate reports the suit, filed Tuesday in state District Court in Baton Rouge, seeks an unspecified amount of damages from Monolyte and several other companies.

Monolyte made a product used by wastewater treatment facilities and oilfield sites to help clarify water that has been discharged.

The lawsuit describes the cleanup operation following the huge fire as “a slow, haphazard attempt to remediate the pollution caused by the Monolyte Laboratories facility.

“As this purported remediation dragged on, the chemicals that had been released into the ditches and soil continued to be released into the air and the surrounding community, creating odors that at times have been unbearable,” the suit alleges. “The remediation effort has continued until the present date.”

The 5-year-old daughter of a couple whose home was near the Monolyte facility required more than 20 trips to doctors and hospitals for treatment of respiratory problems since the fire and release of chemicals, the lawsuit says.

The newspaper reports the company, which could not be reached for comment Tuesday, hired an environmental contractor to handle the cleanup.

Slaughter Police Chief Walter Smith has said there were no hazardous chemicals on the site.

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