Class action status granted in Spraypark case


Ruling allows victims of 2005 Cryptosporidium outbreak at Seneca Lake State Park to join class action lawsuit against State of New York

ROCHESTER, NY – A class action lawsuit filed against the State of New York Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation was certified today. The class certification ruling allows all persons who became ill with Cryptosporidiosis and/or were otherwise damaged as a result of the Cryptosporidium outbreak at the Seneca Lake State Park Spraypark in 2005 to join the class and receive compensation for their injuries and economic damages. Attorneys from Marler Clark, Underberg & Kessler, and Dreyer Boyajian filed the motion requesting certification of the class in December.

“We are very pleased that the Judge ruled in favor of certifying the class action,” said Paul Nunes, a partner in Underberg & Kessler. “This decision allows people who have not already filed claims to join the action now. We encourage those who have not yet filed a claim to contact us so they can become part of the class.”

The Court not only certified the class action lawsuit, but also consolidated all claims previously brought on behalf of victims by Marler Clark, Underberg & Kessler, and Dreyer Boyajian. “By consolidating all claims into one class, the Court has done a considerable favor to taxpayers. The State’s resources will now be focused on one large claim instead of on hundreds of smaller claims,” added Bruce Clark, a partner in Marler Clark.

“We’re hoping that certification of the class and consolidation of all claims will speed up the process by which victims receive compensation,” said Donald Boyajian, a partner at Dreyer Boyajian.

The New York State Health Department shut down the Sprayground on August 15, 2005, after it was determined that the Sprayground’s water holding tanks, which were used to recycle water, were contaminated with Cryptosporidium. On August 26, the Health Department issued an update on its investigation into the outbreak, announcing that 3,297 cases of Cryptosporidium had been reported in 33 New York counties. Of those cases, 415 were confirmed cases reported to the State Health Department. Thirty-three people had been hospitalized with Cryptosporidiosis.

Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of bacterial, viral, and parasitic illness since 1993. The firm is currently litigating food borne illness cases involving E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria, Cryptosporidium, Norovirus, and Hepatitis A. Together with Underberg & Kessler, Marler Clark represented 72 victims of the Brook-Lea Country Club Salmonella outbreak in 2002. Dreyer Boyajian represented members of a class action lawsuit in litigation resulting from the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at the Washington County Fair in 2000.