Bloomberg Law
Dec. 20, 2018, 7:39 PM

Orlando Plant Caused Children’s Cancers, Nearby Residents Say

Perry Cooper
Perry Cooper

An Orlando coal-fired power plant has caused a spike in cancer rates in children living nearby and its operators should pay for extensive property testing and clean up, a class action filed Dec. 20 alleges.

The Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center operated by the Orlando Utilities Commission contaminates the neighboring properties with airborne coal dust, fly and bottom ash, harmful organic compounds, radionuclides, and metals, the suit alleges.

The utility said the plant meets environmental permitting conditions.

“The Stanton Energy Center’s operations are highly regulated by both the state and federal governments. OUC meets or exceeds all permitting requirements as environmental stewardship is one of the key principles of our organization, ” OUC spokesman Tim Trudell told Bloomberg Law.

Thousands of homes are allegedly affected by the soil and groundwater contamination.

The neighbors who filed the class action in Florida state court allege the plant deprived them of the enjoyment of their properties, decreased their property values, and caused pollution that needs remediation.

Children in the surrounding area have developed pediatric central nervous system, blood, and bone cancer at rates that “drastically exceed” national and regional levels, they say, though no personal injury claims are alleged.

The residents also sued Lennar Corp., U.S. Home Group, and Avalon Park Group, the developers of their properties, for allegedly failing to address harm posed by the plant.

Avalon declined to comment. Lennar didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Susman Godfrey LLP represents the plaintiffs.

The case is Irizarry v. Orlando Utilities Comm’n, Fla. Cir. Ct., docket number not available, filed 12/20/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at; Steven Patrick at