MORGANTOWN -- A Washington County, Pa., woman claims she sustained serious and permanent injuries while working at Mylan Pharmaceuticals because it exposed her to unsafe working conditions.

In a suit filed March 14 in U.S. District Court, Mandi Hellested of Washington, Pa., said she was working in March 2006 for Mylan Pharmaceuticals as a chemist. As part of her regular job function, she retrieved chemical substances. As she opened a cabinet door, improperly stored Hydrochloric acid, Triethylamine, and Triethylamine chloride created a cloud of white dust.

Triethylamine is used as a catalytic solvent in chemical syntheses and as a curing and hardening agent for polymers, and the Environmental Protection Agency considers it a toxin. It was the mixture of the Hydrochloric acid and Triethylamine that created the cloud of white Triethylamine chloride. When Hellested was exposed to this cloud, it caused her respiratory system serious damage.

In the suit, Hellested claims that Mylan Pharmaceuticals acted with conscious, subjective, and deliberate intention to injure her by exposing her to unsafe working conditions. She also asserts that Mylan Pharmaceuticals had actual knowledge of the unsafe working conditions.

Filed by attorney Peter D. Friday of Friday Porta Cox & Ward, the suit claims that Mylan Pharmaceuticals did not perform proper inspections and maintenance and permitted Triethylamine and Hydrochloric acid to be stored together despite the fact that it is in violation of state and federal laws. Hellested is also claiming that her supervisor did not have the expertise or qualifications to adequately supervise her on proper procedures.

Hellested, following this accident, is permanently disabled, suffering from Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome, acid reflux, respiratory irritation, pulmonary impairments, chronic coughing, nervousness, anxiety, and depression. She faces extreme medical bills for treatment, rehabilitation, therapy, and possible surgeries. She has lost her general health, strength, and vitality.

Hellested is demanding a trial by jury to award compensatory damages totaling $75,000 and any court costs.

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