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By Kellie Yaskanich
The Times Herald-Record
Liberty – About 50 Liberty residents gathered at the Senior Center in the village Monday night for an information session, hosted by the law firm of Lieberman & Blecher, regarding an ongoing class-action lawsuit against Exxon, Mobil and the village over MTBE in a village well.
The civil suit, filed in January in Supreme Court in Monticello, seeks responsibility from the three named entities for MTBE contamination of the Elm Street well. The well has supplied the community with its drinking water for between 14 and 20 years.
MTBE, which stands for methyl tertiary utyl ether, is a suspected carcinogen. It is added to gasoline to reduce air pollution.
It is believed that leaky underground fuel tanks contaminated the water supply, which is still used conservatively today.
The number of plaintiffs committed to the suit continues to climb. The number is currently nearing 300.
The defendants in the case have hired Manhattan based firms.
"It is believed that as many as 8,000 may have been affected over the course of that 14 to 20 years," attorney Shari Lieberman told the crowd.
The lawsuit seeks damages based on alleged violations of the Navigation Act, which forbids the release of hazardous and toxic substances into the earth.
It also addresses issues of product liability, diminishing property value, common law violations, and health-related concerns.
For more information call 732-355-1311