The Bethpage Water District will continue to pursue their lawsuit against Northrop Grumman, which includes filing the appropriate actions to challenge a recent decision by Magistrate Judge Anne Shields. The decision, from United States District Court in Central Islip, NY removed an aspect of the case filed by the District for compensation and continued treatment for contamination found near Sophia Street in Bethpage, NY.
“We fundamentally disagree with the Magistrate Judge’s decision to dismiss this crucial part of our efforts to have Northrop Grumman legally responsible for its actions,” said Commissioner John F. Coumatos. “We are disappointed in this decision but will be working to reverse this decision as we move forward with the remaining parts of the case.”
The decision removed the Sophia Street contamination from the lawsuit under the grounds that the District did not file suit within the three-year period of discovery required by New York State law. The District began proactively discussing a future need to upgrade Sophia Street’s water supply system in 2009. Northrop Grumman claimed this was the starting point from which the District should have filed suit even though the contaminants did not affect the system till years later.
“Determining when the statute of limitation begins should be left to a jury,” said Commissioner Chairman William J. Ellinger. “The data the District received from Northrop Grumman was inconsistent. Because of this, the commissioners had to start taking preventative measures as early as 2009 and now are being punished for trying to protect our community’s health. “
The part of the lawsuit concerning contamination at the Park Lane site will be allowed to continue and the Bethpage Water District fully intends to continue advocating on behalf of the Bethpage community. After which, the District will be allowed to file an objection to the recent decision.
“We were watching how the plume was moving and realized that Sophia Street could eventually be affected,” said Commissioner John R. Sullivan. “We did not believe these proactive measures would be the starting point for the period of discovery, we saw it as a necessary move to protect our community. We will be filing the appropriate actions as we continue to fight on behalf of our residents.”
For more information, please contact the Bethpage Water District at 516-931-0093, visit www.bethpagewater.com or the District’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BethpageWaterDistrict.