ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWS RELEASE:
Settlement reached in Dover cancer case
TOMS RIVER, N.J.
(AP) --Two chemical companies and Dover Township's public water
provider have reached a settlement with lawyers representing 69
families of children stricken with cancer in the Toms River area.
Details of the
settlement announced Wednesday will not be made public, but each
family will receive an undisclosed amount of money. The agreement
will require court approval for family members who are still minors.
None of the companies
-- Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corp., Union Carbide Corp. and United
Water Toms River -- admitted responsibility or any liability for
childhood cancer cases in the Toms River area.
The settlement will
end four years of mediation among the parties about possible links
between environmental contamination and the cancers. It was not
known if the agreement includes payment for future medical
monitoring of the families.
resident Joseph Kotran, whose 5-year-old daughter's cancer is now in
remission, said the agreement helped avoid a protracted legal
"It's for the
children," Kotran told the Asbury Park Press of Neptune for
Thursday's editions. "Some of them, they're not going to be around
in 10 years."
the three companies agreed, saying all sides benefited because the
settlement was reached through negotiation, not litigation.
CIBA and Union
Carbide have assumed responsibility for contamination at Dover's two
Superfund sites. United Water bought the public water system serving
most of the township from the Toms River Water Co. in 1994.
Jan Schlictmann, the
noted Massachusetts lawyer who was among those representing the
families, said the case could become a model for those pursuing
"The families of Toms
River have something to share with the world;" he said. Schlictmann
won fame representing families in Woburn, Mass., who sued W.R. Grace
and Beatrice Foods over water contamination. The case was the
subject of a best-selling book called "A Civil Action," that was
made into a movie starring John Travolta.
Readers interested in
details of the historical reconstruction methodology, simulation
approaches, or results for specific years and locations for the
Dover Township area should refer to the full report that is
available over the Internet at the ATSDR Web site at URL:
The summary report is
available to view in ".pdf" format in this site: