A Coopersburg man has filed suit against a township sewage plant and its employees over claims that exposure to raw sewage led to his diagnosis of leukemia and prostate cancer.

Gene Benckini filed suit against the Upper Saucon Township Municipal Authority Sewage Treatment Plant, sewage plant employees, and Upper Saucon Township police officers on Oct. 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, citing violations of civil rights, environmental laws and the 14th Amendment.

According to the complaint, Benckini purchased roughly 15 acres of land in Center Valley next to the Upper Saucon Township sewage plant to operate a nursery. The complaint states that raw sewage leaked onto his property from 1978 to 1986, in 2006, 2007, 2012 and 2013. The plaintiff alleges he was retaliated against by authorities for complaining about the sewage spills, and that his illnesses are attributable to exposure to the untreated sewage and dust.

The plaintiff is demanding unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and is representing himself pro se.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 15-CV-05526

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