BROOKHAVEN, Long Island (WABC) — A mother plans to sue a Long Island school district and city, alleging they are to blame for her son’s death.
Grieving mother Nacole Hutley echoed the words of her dying son.
“I never would have gone to school there,” Hutley said, “he said he never would have gone if I had known.”
13-year-old Javian Coleman lost his battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last October. His family and others believe his illness is linked to his school, Frank P. Long Intermediate, which is located next to the Brookhaven landfill.
“Fourth and fifth graders should not have to go to school every day and experience headaches, nausea and dizziness because of bad smells,” said Adrienne Esposito of Citizens for the Environment. “And school boards shouldn’t say no.”
Attorneys for Coleman’s family announced a lawsuit Monday against the South County School District and the city of Brookhaven, accusing them of failing to relocate the school or take steps to prevent exposure to toxic substances.
“The fact that you’re exposing young children to these toxins, knowing that they exist, knowing that the school has elevated levels of them, is just not fair,” said the family’s attorney, Christopher Murray.
The issue of toxic air quality was at the forefront of Frank P. Long’s mind a subject of controversy for nearly a decade.
Its proximity to a landfill and its odors and emissions are at the center of concern.
Almost three dozen teachers who worked there suffered from cancer or other diseases. There are actually several lawsuits.
For the family of the 13-year-old boy who loved football most of all, it’s not just about justice for Javien Coleman, but for everyone else.
“The school really needs to be closed,” Hutlett said. “They put a lot of children at risk. Not only children, but also teachers, workers. And they just need to shut it down.”
Eyewitness News has reached out to the South Central School District for comment.
Administrators responded by calling Coleman’s death a “tragedy” and saying they could not comment at this time.
A similar response came from the city of Brookhaven, which told Eyewitness News, “It does not comment on matters of potential litigation.”
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