SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA
ANNE ANDERSON, an individual, AND ANNE ANDERSON as executor of the estate of JAMES ANDERSON Plaintiffs, vs.
W.R. GRACE & Co., a California corporation doing business as “Cryovac Factory”, and DOES ONE THROUGH FIVE, Defendants
COMPLAINT FOR NEGLIGENCE, WRONGFUL DEATH,
UNITENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL
Plaintiffs allege against each defendant as follows:
1. The true names and capacities of all defendants names herein as Does are unknown to plaintiff, and are sued by such fictitious names pursuant to section 474 of the California Code of Civil Procedure.
2. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereupon allege that defendant W.G. Grace & Co. was and is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of California with its principal place of business in Woburn, Santa Clara County, California.
3. At all times mentioned herein, defendants W.R. Grace & Co. was a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of California with its principal place of business in Woburn, Santa Clara County, California.
4. At all times mentioned herein, defendants W.R. Grace & Co. and Does One through Five were the employees of their co-defendants Beatrice Foods Inc, and in doing the things hereinafter alleged were acting with the knowledge and consent of each and every other defendant.
5. In 1960, defendant W.R. Grace & Co. opened the Cryovac Factory in Woburn, California. The Cryovac Factory was used to manufacture equipment for the food processing industry. Employees of the factory were using the toxin trichloroethylene (TCE) to clean their equipment that was used in the paint shop.
6. W.R. Grace & Co. is located northeast of Wells G and H within the Aberjona River Valley trench.
7. During the period of operation of Wells G and H, W.R. Grace & Co. disposed the toxin TCE by dumping drums of the toxin into the ground surface.
8. Groundwater from the W.R. Grace & Co. site moved directly toward Wells G and H. The toxin spilled into the surface of the ground at W.R. Grace & Co., flowed with groundwater toward the wells.
9. Wells G and H provided water for East Woburn residents from 1964 through 1979.
10. Chemicals deposited on this site have contaminated the groundwater.
11. In May, 1979, after water had been drawn from wells G and H over the course of fifteen years, it was found that the levels of contaminants were extremely high.
12. Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a potent central nervous system depressant and can cause severe neurological symptoms such as dizziness, loss of appetite and loss of motor coordination. It can produce liver damage at certain exposure levels and cause cell mutations and cancer. TCE can be dangerous if absorbed through skin, ingested in water or breathed in the air.
13. Water contaminated with TCE was drawn from Wells G and H and ingested though the water, air and skin over the course of many years by plaintiffs, resulting in an increased risk of leukemia and other serious health problems.
14. James Anderson was exposed to TCE during the pregnancy of this mother through utero, because his mother drank the contaminated water. James Anderson drank the contaminated water at his home since his infancy. In January 1972, at the age of three, he became ill will leukemia. James Anderson died from leukemia at the age of twelve.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION: NEGLIGENCE
A. Plaintiffs reallege paragraphs 1 through 14.
B. Defendants have a duty not to expose plaintiffs to hazardous materials. Defendants have a duty to safely and properly dispose of waste toxins.
C. Defendants had a duty of due care toward plaintiffs and plaintiffs’ decedents in disposal of chemicals.
D. Defendants knew or would have known that TCE is a dangerous toxin that causes serious health issues and death.
E. Defendants’ failure to exercise the due care caused plaintiffs