San Rafael homeless man suing city for health problems

A man living in a city-sanctioned homeless camp under Highway 101 in San Rafael, has sued both the city and CalTrans, saying the homeless camp has caused health problems.

James Hellard, 49, said exposure to freeway noise and pollution has caused him to suffer hearing loss and put him at risk of illness, according to the Marin Independent Journal. He alleges that the city has been "forcing" him to live under the overpass for the past two years because "living anywhere else means my survival gear will be confiscated."

SEE ALSO: Homeless advocates say court-ordered mental health treatment violates civil rights

The lawsuit cites statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about noise exposure levels and negative health effects linked to living near a major road or highway. It mentions health effects such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory symptoms and other diseases.

A hearing for the lawsuit is set for April 22.