Julia Wilson of the Alamosa Courier reports that he City of Alamosa, through its insurance carrier, Travelers, will pay $360,000 to 29 Alamosa residents who became ill because of the salmonella outbreak in 2008. The lawsuit claimed the city was negligent in maintaining its water facilities, the source of the salmonella, and as the municipal water provider sold tainted water to its customers.
The law firm of Marler Clark has waived all fees and costs incurred in the case.
“It was a good way to help a community that’s been through some rough economic time in recent years,” Drew Falkenstein of Marler Clark said in a press release. “I was pleased to have been able to work on behalf of the Alamosa citizens affected by this outbreak.”
More than 400 cases of illness were reported, typically involving vomiting and diarrhea. There was one death associated with the outbreak. Overall, state health experts estimated up to 1,300 people may have been ill.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s final report regarding the salmonella outbreak stated that animal waste most likely contaminated a concrete in-ground water storage tank. The tank was found to have several holes and cracks.
“We believe the people in Alamosa deserve to know what happened, what was done about it and why it happened,” said Ron Falco, Safe Drinking Water program manager in the Water Quality Control Division when the report was released.