Danny DeVito by Gage Skidmore 3 150x150 DeVito options screen rights to Toms River cancer cluster story
Danny DeVito Photo by Gage Skidmore

Actor Danny DeVito’s production company, Jersey Films 2nd Avenue, has optioned the screen rights to a 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning non-fiction book about industrial waste in a Jersey Shore town that caused a childhood cancer cluster.

The book, “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation,” was penned by Dan Fagin, a New York University professor, and centers on a group of families who fought to hold the government and local industries accountable for the polluting of Toms River.

Fagin Tweeted the good news in early June, saying he was “So happy to be working with the super-talented @DannyDeVito and family to bring the #TomsRiver saga to life on screen. This story could not be in more capable hands.”

DeVito is from Neptune Township, just north of Toms River.

According to Fagin’s book, “Children were developing cancer at alarming rates, and they were finally scientifically linked to local air and water pollution that stemmed from large chemical companies using Toms River as their private dumping ground. They buried tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river. Unsuspecting pregnant mothers who drank the water bore children who didn’t have a chance.”

DeVito’s daughter, Lucky DeVito, and son, Jake DeVito, run the family’s production company.

Beasley Allen investigates cases of water contamination linked to corporate pollution. Lawyers are currently representing city, town and county governments whose water systems are affected by PFC chemicals, as well as cases of groundwater contamination from leaking underground fuel storage tanks. Contact us if you feel you have a claim.

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