Two lawsuits were filed against Lockheed Martin’s Orlando facility on Monday for dangerous handling of hazardous chemicals.
“The general allegations are these that for a period of many years, the people at Lockheed Martin were conducting tests of bombs, and delivery systems and missiles and those toxins escaped,” attorney John Morgan was quoted as saying during a virtual news conference by local media.
Morgan & Morgan Law Firm slapped the lawsuits on behalf of 13 employees at The Golf Channel, close to location off West Sand Lake Road. They alleged that the aerospace and defense giant’s mishandling of toxins caused people who live and work nearby to develop life-threatening medical conditions.
A separate class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all individuals who live and/or work near the facility.
"What we believe has happened is that large numbers of people who lived in the Tangelo Park area and who now live in the Tangelo Park area have breathed in these fumes, these toxins and have developed life-threatening illnesses that can kill them, have killed them or will kill them," said John Morgan.
"Essentially what's happened for decades, since the 1950s, they have dug trenches and made ponds and disposed of the waste there," remarked attorney Mike Morgan.
Both lawsuits are seeking damages for medical treatment, pain and suffering. “The lawsuit alleges that Lockheed Martin knew, or should have known, that because of the dangerous constituents present in the soil and groundwater, and the high levels of contamination present in the soil and groundwater, individuals exposed to these toxins, like our clients, would suffer severe and debilitating illnesses,” according to Morgan and Morgan, report local media.
Morgan & Morgan said in a news release that the chemical and toxins in question "are powerful carcinogens and can damage virtually every human bodily system, including the central nervous system, liver, kidneys, respiratory system, skeletal system, reproductive system, and endocrine system. They are toxic to the skin, the heart, and the immune system, and they may cause birth defects and developmental disorders."
The news release went on to say: "The lawsuit alleges that Lockheed Martin may have stored toxins in leaking storage tanks, collected and transported waste materials in leaking underground piping systems, and dumped thousands of tons highly toxic waste sludges into trenches dug throughout the Orlando Facility."
Lockheed Martin’s response to the allegations
John Torrisi, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin, tells WESH 2 News the lawsuits are being looked over by the company.
"We first became aware of this allegation during a Zoom media conference and we are reviewing the lengthy complaint. It is our company practice not to comment on pending litigation,” Torrisi noted.
Lockheed Martin in Orlando
The company employs approximately 8,000 individuals in Orlando. The Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control (MFC) are located in the facility off Sand Lake Road. According to the company’s website, MFC “produces electro-optic and smart munitions systems, and is a pioneer in the field of versatile, high-performance missile and rocket technology.”
Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems Training and Logistics Solutions (TLS) is also based in Orlando.
The company’s Orlando facilities are tasked with manufacturing F-35 Lightning II Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS), F-35 Lightning II Pilot and Maintenance Training systems, IRST21 Sensor Systems, Legion Pod on F-15C, Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod and electronic Consolidated Automated Support Systems (eCASS), among others.