Sanford Water Contamination Victims Settle Lawsuit
More than three dozen former factory workers have settled their multimillion-dollar five-year legal battle against Siemens Corp. and General Dynamics Corp. over toxins they allege the companies carelessly dumped into drinking water, causing them to develop cancer.
"I'm just glad it's over with," said Gladys Elder of Sanford, a 32-year employee at the plant at 400 Rinehart Road in Lake Mary that manufactured telecommunications equipment.
Elder, 70, developed kidney cancer a decade ago, and she, like dozens of others, accused the plant's owners of making her sick by carelessly handling solvents.
Plant employees used toxins, including trichloroethene (TCE), to manufacture and clean circuit boards and other equipment.
In 2001, Siemens AG, the plant's then-operator, ordered employees to stop drinking the water. That's because it had discovered TCE, a chemical linked to cancer in laboratory animals and suspected of doing the same in humans, in the plant's tap water.