Two add names to AT&T case pile

by John O'Brien |
Nov. 10, 2006, 1:35am

CHARLESTON - Two individuals have joined the group of former AT&T workers who are suing the company over alleged poor air quality while it operated the offices at One Davis Square in Charleston.

Michelle Bailey and Hazel Marie Casto each filed suits Nov. 1 in Kanawha Circuit Court against AT&T, Geary Securities, Holcomb Land Co., HLC Developers, HLC Constructors, Weavertown Environmental Group and Rogina, Inc.

Christopher Luzier of James Humphreys and Associates in Charleston is representing the plaintiffs, who pushed the number of lawsuits recently filed over the matter to 23.

Twenty-one lawsuits were entered Sept. 21 into Kanawha Circuit Court.

The suits say that from August 1987 to July 2002, AT&T operated a call center that employed approximately 750 persons at any time.

"While so employed, Plaintiffs were significantly exposed to poor indoor air quality in One Davis Square," the complaints say.

It adds that the poor quality was the result of water intrusion that permitted the growth and spread of mold and bacteria.

All plaintiffs claim the building had to be evacuated numerous times because of reports of illness and odors, and that several times employees had to be provided emergency treatment.

They add that there were so many complaints that the building was ordered closed in June 2000, and Rogina and Weavertown Environmental Group performed air quality assessments.

Both said the area had elevated levels of a variety of fungi, the complaints say, though AT&T assured everyone that it was safe.

The employees continued to work there until July 2002, when AT&T began to shift its operation to Patrick Plaza. The complaint also says the State of West Virginia purchased the building in 2004 from Geary Securities and discovered the presence of several injury-causing micro-organisms and other contaminants.

The lawsuits say the defendants are liable for: Negligence; fraudulent concealment; fraud; constructive fraud; failure to warn; conspiracy; breach of express and implied warranties; medical monitoring; failure to provide a safe workplace; deliberately causing injury to employees; battery; and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Judge Tod Kaufman has been assigned Bailey's and Casto's cases.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers 06-C-2315 and 06-C-2316

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