A law firm that Hollywood-haloed environmental crusader Erin Brockovich works with is investigating whether contamination could have caused cancer in The Acreage.
So much so, Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. will be at Seminole Ridge High School next week, armed with a slide show and ready to answer questions.
"We're really just trying to help the residents process the information that's flying around," said attorney Lemuel Srolovic.
The New York City law firm has neither filed a lawsuit nor has it been retained to represent anyone in the community, Srolovic said.
But it has gotten many calls from Acreage residents worried about cancer rates in their central Palm Beach County community. The state Department of Health late this month is expected to announce if a brain cancer cluster exists there.
"We've decided to take a look and do a preliminary background investigation and see if there is a likelihood that there is an environmental exposure that is contributing to these diseases and is there legal recourse for that exposure," Srolovic said.
Jennifer Dunsford, whose 6-year-old son had a tumor removed last year, said her family contacted Brockovich Research & Consulting in February, several months before she requested the DOH study.
"Erin Brockovich is aware of this situation here. She referred us to Weitz & Lux and we are hoping that she will be involved somehow," said an Aug. 13 update on www.theacreagecancerstudy.com, which Dunsford's family created and administers.
Brockovich "consults with" his firm, Srolovic said. Brockovich Research & Consulting's Web site says that Brockovich is "exclusively consulting with" Weitz & Luxenberg on the East Coast.
Brockovich earned her fame when an Oscar-winning movie bearing her name depicted her showdown against Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
Without formal legal or scientific training, Brockovich discovered that the corporate giant had allowed the toxic chemical Chromium 6 to leak into groundwater near Hinkley, Ca. In 1996, the company agreed to pay $333 million in damages to more than 600 Hinkley residents.
Nearly all 50,000 Acreage residents rely on well water. Some have raised concerns over Pratt & Whitney's 7,000 acres several miles away. The jet engine maker has had a history of toxic leaks, but the state Department of Environmental Protection reports that only one contaminant migrated beyond the property and that all contamination on the site is under control.
Weitz & Luxenberg's meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Aug. 27, at Seminole Ridge High School in The Acreage.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun