Attorneys Douglas J. Olcott and Caitlin M. Harrington along with Brendan Lupetin from Meyers, Evans, Lupetin & Unatin, filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Butler Area School District and Dale R. Lumley, Ph.D. today. This is a civil suit seeking to hold those responsible for allowing the students, faculty and visitors of Summit Elementary School to be exposed to unsafe levels of lead in the school’s drinking water. The suit is asking the court to order the school district to pay the costs associated with extensive medical testing or medical treatment which any of the children may require. The suit also seeks to compensate the children who were unnecessarily exposed to lead for the fear and inconvenience the families have incurred as a result of the School District’s decision to ignore the results of the test, conceal those results from the public, and in doing so needlessly endangering our children.
More information on lead poisoning and lead exposure from the Mayo Clinic-
Summit Elementary School Exposure Information Timeline
January 20 – Parents informed by letter of high lead levels in the water at Summit Elementary School. The high lead level was reportedly found in September 2016. DEP was notified in September and the students and staff drank bottled water for 2 days. On January 19th, the school provided bottled water to students and staff again. Reportedly, Summit is the only school with well water. Superintendent said water would only be in toilets and urinals, that bottled water and hand sanitizer would be available for the next week to 10 days.
January 24 – Summit Elementary to close for at least 2 days while officials deal with the high lead levels found in the well water. The school board president said that the maintenance supervisor misunderstood the DEP and thought the water was safe for the 2 days in September that the children were provided bottled water. Roughly 80% of the water sampled in August tested about the acceptable lead levels. A subsequent test showed 100% of the samples were above the acceptable levels.
January 26 – Summit Elementary reopens. Portable handwashing stations are available. More testing is done on the water.
January 28 – Summit Elementary to offer blood lead level testing on students and staff.
February 3 – Summit Elementary students to be moved to the old Broad Street Elementary on February 6th. Broad Street had been closed for 2 years but students will remain there indefinitely. Water testing will be done at Broad Street.
February 5 – Butler Area School District superintendent Dale Lumley submits his letter of resignation and announces plans to immediately retire. In this article, it is reported that on August 15, 2016, the lead levels at Summit were 55 parts per billion and the acceptable levels are no more than 15 parts per billion. Updated information shows 10 of the Butler Area School District schools are supplied by well water. Lumley stated in a January release that the DEP didn’t share the lead levels with the school district until September.