Polk Homes Sitting On Toxic Time Bomb, Lawsuit Says

LAKELAND, Fla. (970 WFLA) - Thousands of homes in southern Lakeland may be sitting on top of a toxic time bomb, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

News Channel 8 reports that Drummond Company, a developer, is being sued for not telling home buyers that their houses were built on an old phosphate mine, which may be leaking poisonous radon gas and radiation.

“The gamma radiation is the main contaminant right now,” said Richard Meadow, a lawyer suing the developer of Grasslands and Oakbridge.

The two developments sit on what used to be the Poseidon mine, owned by Drummond.  The mine was shut down, the property reclaimed, then Drummond developed the property with beautiful homes.

The lawsuit contends that Drummond knew the dangers well in advance of the home construction, and should be held liable for the resulting effects.

News Channel 8 found decades old documents express concern about building on the reclaimed mine land.

A 1980 Polk County Health Department letter to Drummond said, “a significant number of the homes built on this property will probably have indoor radiation levels greater than the recommended federal guidelines."

“We’ve gone through the neighborhood with our own detectors and found it, the high levels,” said Meadow.

In fact, attorney Meadow claims some radiation levels are 400 times higher than EPA guidelines.

He states people who are concerned should have their property tested for radiation levels.

photo credit: WFLA-TV, Getty Images

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