Lawsuit seeks damages for Mahomet gas leak

MAHOMET, Ill. (WAND) – Lawyers representing families dealing with contaminated water have sued the company responsible for a leak.

Spiros Law, which represents the families in Mahomet, says it filed the lawsuit Wednesday. Peoples Gas saw its natural gas well leak into the Mahomet Aquifer in December 2016, causing problems for five homes in the area.

Lawyers say they plan to hold the company accountable with the suit.

 “We hoped that such a large corporate entity would come forward and take responsibility,” the law firm said in a press release. “However, this has not been the case. Peoples Gas doesn’t even provide energy services locally, the gas it stores in Mahomet is shipped to the Chicagoland area. In our opinion, Peoples Gas has shown no concern for the residents of central Illinois like our clients.”

Earlier this month, Peoples Gas told WAND-TV it took all of the correct steps after finding the leak on Dec. 16, 2016, including contacting local, state and federal leaders. It says it immediately started testing its wells for contamination and updated the agencies regularly.

In May, the Illinois legislature passed a bill to provide stronger protections for the Mahomet Aquifer. It requires that gas leaks be reported immediately when companies that own storage ages above U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-designated sole-source aquifers are involved. State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) told WAND-TV the leak was “inexcusable”.

Spiros say the lawsuit involves 17 plaintiffs who dealt with water problems from the leak, including two seniors and three minor children. It accuses the company of negligence, consumer fraud and a number of other counts. It says the affected people are seeing damages for health exposures, property damage, financial loss for falling property value and other problems.  For more information go to:

>>Related: Bill seeking to raise aquifer protection passes House