BOSTON - The pro bono efforts of McDermott Will & Emery were recently honored by Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE). The Firm's Boston office was recognized by ACE for serving as pro bono counsel to approximately 200 residents of a low income neighborhood in Boston whose homes were flooded with sewage in 1996 and 1998 during heavy rainstorms. ACE referred the plaintiffs to McDermott Will & Emery.
On behalf of the residents, the Firm sued the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, whose sewage pipes overflowed for several days, depositing sewage in the backyards and basements of the plaintiffs' homes. The plaintiffs allege that the agencies were negligent in the operation and maintenance of their sewer lines.
The residents lost furniture, appliances and many personal possessions of monetary and sentimental value when their basements were inundated with raw sewage. Many plaintiffs also allege that their homes were structurally damaged by the flooding. All of the plaintiffs seek to recover for the pain and suffering they endured as a result of the severe disruption and trauma that affected their neighborhood.
Associates Jennifer Geetter, Scott Murray and Heather Egan Sussman, and legal assistant Sara Brine are handling the case with assistance from various other McDermott, Will & Emery lawyers.
Based in Roxbury, Massachusetts, ACE has been working in partnership with low income communities to achieve environmental justice since 1993. ACE provides legal and technical support, educational programs, and organizing assistance to community groups throughout New England to solve environmental problems and develop local environmental leadership. For more information on ACE, visit their website at www.ace-ej.org.