ST. LOUIS (CN) – Doe Run Resources released lead and other toxins into the air at its Peru plant, injuring 17 children in the area, according to two lawsuits filed in city court.
Sister Kate Reid and Megan Heeney are next friends of the minors who say they suffer from a variety of lead-related ailments due to releases from Doe Run’s metallurgical complex in La Oroya, Peru. Lead poisoning causes injuries to the nervous system, learning and behavioral disorders, anemia, fatigue, hypertension and spontaneous abortions, the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs claim a group of scientists from the St. Louis University School of Public Health have concluded that the conditions in La Oroya constitute a public health crisis and that the pollution caused by the defendants has the city ranked among the 10 most polluted places on the planet with conditions similar to those in Chernobyl, Russia.
In October 2007, Reid and Heeney filed a similar complaint against Doe Run in city court on behalf of 137 other Peruvian children. In August 2007, the Peruvian Government fined Doe Run $230,000 for emissions infractions. Doe Run has appealed the fines. The plaintiffs are seeking actual and punitive damages and are represented by Kristine Kraft. DR Acquisition Corp., Renco Holdings Inc., Marvin Kaiser, Albert Neil, Jeffrey Zelms, Theodore Fox III, Daniel Vornberg and Ira Rennert were also named as defendants.