The Kind of Story I Wish Was Fiction
By Alexis Glick

Remember that book that I told you I was reading over vacation — The Appeal by John Grisham? The story about a cancer cluster caused by a plant that was dumping toxic waste in the ground and throughout the water system? The class action suit filed against a publicly-traded company?

This morning, I interviewed Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio, both very well known lawyers. Kennedy, a big defender of the environment and considered a trailblazer for his fight to help clean up the Hudson River. Papantonio, a partner at one of the largest plaintiffs’ law firms in the country.
They came on the show to talk about a class action lawsuit that they filed on April 11th against Raytheon (RTN: 56.29, -0.64, -1.12%), a huge defense and aerospace systems supplier. The lawsuit concerns a facility in St. Petersburg, Fla. which residents believe has released toxins into the water and its neighboring environment. The toxic chemicals — trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride and dioxane — are all believed to be responsible for cancer, birth defects and death. It’s a very sad story about what has happened to this area in Florida. The damages are estimated to be between $250 and $400 million. The case could take two years to settle.

I hear and read about these stories, but I’ve never interviewed the attorneys filing the class action lawsuit – until today. We also contacted Raytheon and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. They had a different story.