Living In The Contamination Zone: What You Need To Do NOW

It’s been three weeks since a Rochester Democrat & Chronicle article exposed a 30-year cover-up of lead contamination around the old Geneva Foundry site. Since that time, Geneva city officials have made no comment and have done nothing to reach out to the affected residents. There are hundreds of Geneva citizens wondering if their health has been damaged, if their children are safe, and if their property values can withstand a public health crisis that will take many years to resolve.


If you live in the contamination zone, you may be able to seek damages from the city, the state, the county, and the owners of the Geneva Foundry and/or their successors, to help make up for effects to health and property values, as well as to seek a possible reduction or halt in taxes until the remediation is complete. This could help put pressure on the City and state to speed up the remediation process (which currently could take a ridiculously long 14-20 years) and allow everyone to get on with their lives.

However, it is very important that you secure legal counsel as soon as possible. There are very short deadlines for you to file a claim, so you must do it immediately.

If you feel that you can file the claim on your own, here is some information on how to do so:

If you are seeking an attorney, please use the following important guidelines:

  1. Avoid ANY attorney who requires an upfront fee. If you reach out to a lawyer who asks you to pay money, hang up the phone and move on.
  2. Get it in writing, in plain and simple language, that the attorney will not collect any money from you unless you receive a settlement, even if that settlement is less than the attorney’s fees.
  3. The deadline to file a claim can be as short as 90 days after learning about the contamination. Don’t wait to start this process.
  4. Avoid any attorney who has a conflict of interest. Any attorney who has represented or is currently representing the City of Geneva, The State of New York, Ontario County, or the owners of the Geneva Foundry and/or their successors should be avoided.

A group of concerned citizens have scheduled a public meeting for Wednesday, December 7th at 6:30, taking place at the Hydrant Hose Firehouse Bingo Hall at 79 Castle Street. Attorneys will be on hand to answer questions.

Here is the text of an informational flyer being distributed for the meeting:


Dear Residents:

As many of you know, the soil surrounding the location of the former Geneva Foundry, which was torn down in 2005, is highly contaminated with lead, arsenic and possible other contaminants.

The facts of this matter give rise to legal claims the affected residents of Geneva can assert against the State of New York, the City of Geneva, Ontario County and the owners of The Geneva Foundry and/or their successors.

There are, however, very short deadlines for commencing such a claim, and if the applicable deadline is not satisfied, the claim will be lost forever. This deadline could be as soon as 90 days from when you received your letter from the DEC, so it is important to act quickly.

We are holding a meeting with attorneys who can answer your questions.

DATE:  Wednesday, December 7, 2016

TIME:  6:30 p.m.

PLACE: Hydrant Hose Firehouse, 79 Geneva St., Bingo room in the back.  Please park in the Exchange Street lot and use the back door of the Firehouse.

Please spread the word in case we missed anyone.

If you received a letter stating what your level of contamination is, please bring it with you along with your questions

Finally, if you cannot make the meeting but are interested in what you can do in response to the contamination, please contact me and I will help put you in touch with folks who can help you.

PLEASE share this article via social media, email, or any other means with everyone you know who lives in the contamination zone.



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