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IRVINE : Lawsuit Says Chemicals From Ex-Dump Sicken Neighbors

Two residents of an apartment complex across the street from a landfill-turned-golf course are suing the county and others, alleging that chemicals from the former dump are making them sick.

Vivian P. Pedziwiatr and Richard Benenson, residents of Park West Apartments, are seeking unspecified damages in the negligence suit filed earlier this week in Orange County Superior Court. The suit names the county, the Irvine Co., American Golf Inc., Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course, Park West Apartments and Irvine Apartment Communities as defendants.

The residents allege that through negligence, chemicals used for such things as paint remover and fire extinguishers have been released from the former dump. The residents say they have suffered afflictions including headaches, rashes, sinus irritation, memory loss, low-grade fever, thyroid problems and emotional distress.

The county operated the landfill in the early 1960s. The golf course, bordered by Michaelson, Culver and University drives and Harvard Avenue, was built in the mid-1970s after the landfill was closed.

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Deputy County Counsel Geoffrey Hunt said the old landfill is monitored as required by such agencies as the Integrated Waste Management Board and South Coast Air Quality Management District, and that he is not aware of any problems with the site.


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