LIVERPOOL RESIDENTS are suing United Utilities (UU) for £50M for suffering caused by the smell from one of its flagship sewage treatment works.
Ten thousand people living close to the £100M Sandon Dock sewage treatment works in Liverpool are hoping to win £5,000 each for three years of stink that they claim has prevented them from using their gardens or selling their houses.
The compensation claim for 'a breach of human rights' is the first case of its kind to be brought to court.
UU this week refused to comment on the cause of the smells due to the ongoing case, but the residents' solicitor Doug Fraser said that they believe it is caused by open-air stormwater tanks.
He is currently awaiting clearance from UU's lawyers to send an environmental engineer into the plant to investigate whether UU has acted negligently by allowing the smell to continue for so long.
'UU has said it is now spending £11M putting the problem right. But we say it shouldn't have got it so wrong in the first place, ' said Fraser.
He added that some of his clients could not even hang out washing without it being impregnated with the smell of excrement, and children were being put off their food.
'More than anything, they just want the smell to stop,' he added.
Liverpool High Court is due to name a date for the case on 12 July.
The case follows threats from residents in Mogden, west London, to sue Thames Water for foul smells suffered from the Mogden sewage treatment works.