ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Morgan & Morgan filed two lawsuits against aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin on Monday morning alleging that the company’s mishandling of toxins caused people who live and work nearby to develop life-threatening medical conditions.
In a virtual news conference, attorney John Morgan said most of its clients who signed on to the lawsuits live or work in the Tangelo Park neighborhood near Lockheed Martin’s location off West Sand Lake Road.
“The general allegations are these that for a period of many years, the people at Lockheed Martin were conducting tests of bombs, and delivery systems and missiles and those toxins escaped,” he said.
Attorney Mike Morgan said the lawsuits include one personal injury suit signed on to by 13 people who worked at The Golf Channel, which is headquartered near Tangelo Park. He said the second lawsuit is a class action suit seeking injunctive relief to stop disposal of carcinogens and heavy metals near the community.
“If a company puts profits over the health and safety of people, lives are destroyed,” said attorney John Morgan. “We allege that Lockheed Martin may have hurt the health and wellbeing of our clients, and everyone who lives and works near this facility. We allege that Lockheed Martin knew the harm their actions could cause and did it anyway.”
He said many of The Golf Channel employees and their family members developed “strange illnesses” including half of the 13 signed on to the suit developing multiple sclerosis.
“At the heart of this lawsuit is the disposal of known carcinogens,” he said.
In the Tangelo Park neighborhood, some like Jahree Cummings have wondered for years if something wasn’t quite right.
“I got sick last week. I get sick like a lot, headaches and stuff,” he said. “I don’t even know what it’s from half the time.”
Cummings said he’s heard about others getting sick, and while he doesn’t know if it has anything to do with Lockheed Martin, he said he’s interested in the lawsuit just filed by Morgan & Morgan.
“Actually it’s trending right now, big, on Twitter,” Cummings said. “A lot of people on Twitter talking about it.”
Channel 9 reached out to Lockheed Martin for a statement Sept. 28.
Brittny Sherlock, a Lockheed Martin spokeswoman, provided Channel 9 with the following statement Nov. 30:
“After careful examination of the allegations in the lawsuits, the facts are clear and simple, and our filings today will help begin to set the record straight. Since 1958, the skilled and talented workforce at Lockheed Martin has complied with all laws and performed under government oversight in conducting critical work at the Sand Lake Road facility, which plays an important role in keeping our nation safe. We believe there is no evidence that any of the plaintiffs’ allegations have merit or that anyone has been harmed, and we will continue to vigorously fight this litigation.”
Watch the news conference discussing the lawsuit in full below: