Gelber accuses AG McCollum of dragging his feet on faulty pipesby Dara Kam | February 16th, 2010
After more than four years, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum remains on the fence about whether to go after potentially millions of dollars from the manufacturers of faulty water and sewer pipes, a state senator who wants McCollum’s job charges.
Sen. Dan Gelber, a Democrat running for attorney general in a primary against Sen. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres, asked McCollum to join other state attorneys general in a whistleblower lawsuit that Florida was initially involved in.
But McCollum, a Republican running for governor, has not officially joined at least four other states and numerous towns, cities and counties that are moving forward with the lawsuit against Los Angeles-based JM Eagle and its former parent company, makers of the PVC pipe.
A former employee of the company alleges that the pipes, used for sewer and water lines and supposed to last up to 50 years, leak and break as quickly as the first year of use and can rupture and explode.
Delaware, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia and at least 40 California water districts have joined the whistleblower lawsuit filed in federal court in California seeking millions of dollars in damages. Court documents show that Florida was among the governments initially involved in the lawsuit in 2006.
“These are not allegations that should be sat on,” Gelber, D-Miami Beach, said. “If something improper happened, people have a right to know and seek a remedy and it’s the attorney general’s obligation to make a decision ASAP. If there is a righteous cause of action for consumers, the last thing we want to be is late to the battle.”
Read Gelber’s letter to McCollum here.