"NEW ORLEANS — A group of New Orleans residents whose homes were built on a toxic landfill decades ago have won a $75.3 million court judgement against the city, its housing authority and the local school board.
State district Judge Nicole Sheppard’s ruling said 5,000 residents are entitled to that total amount for emotional distress and property damage involving the former Agriculture Street landfill, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.
Sheppard’s Monday ruling says the housing authority and the parish school board were liable for building two residential communities — Gordon Plaza and Press Park — and Moton Elementary School atop the landfill, which was later named a federal Superfund site.
Homes in the area were built in the 1970s and 1980s and marketed to Black, low- and middle-income residents who weren’t told that the site was a one-time landfill. As awareness grew and environmentalists raised concerns, the area was named a federal Superfund cleanup site in 1994. Amid reports that the soil was contaminated with lead and carcinogens, including arsenic, residents began a decades-long effort to be relocated at government expense."