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East Liverpool residents hear about proposed lawsuit over company's emissions

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EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio - East Liverpool residents met with a legal team Thursday night to discuss possible litigation against a company that has been emitting manganese into the air for decades.

Dozens of people filled a room at the East Liverpool Community Center to hear from Cleveland attorney Edward Cochran and his legal team who specialize in toxic environmental cases.

A preliminary report from the EPA is prompting them to build a class action lawsuit against the S. H. Bell Company. "The report of the EPA seems to indicate that manganese, people have been exposed to it and it's been collecting in their bodies and it's impacted their neuropsych abilities which have been diminished. That's sad because it has to do with how intelligent you appear to be." said Cochran.

Cochran says people may not realize the impact manganese has been having on their bodies.  A biopsy of brain tissue can only tell for sure.


S. H. Bell has been in operation since the late 60's and Jason Keys' house is right in the pathway of the company's manganese emissions.

"It stained my house.  I spent two grand on painting my house to cover the stain.  I got a baby and she's got a son.  We're really concerned about their health." said Keys.

Ricardo Gonzalez moved back to the area a couple years ago and lives near the plant.  He's worried about what's in his soil.

"I've planted fruit trees and I plant a garden and teach my grandchildren, but now I'm concerned about the levels of manganese in my soil and all the fruits and vegetables that I do grow and sell to the public. Will they be safe?", asks Gonzalez.

Cochran says the first step in building their case will be to test the soil.  From there, they would investigate the health of their clients as well as other health studies that are going on in the area.

The process could take a few years, but the hope is that residents here will get the compensation they need to move.

East Liverpool residents interested in participating in the suit can sign up by following this link.

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