13 people say they were exposed to lab chemicals

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 2, 2010

CHARLESTON -- Thirteen individuals named 34 defendants in their separate lawsuits, claiming they were exposed to float-sink lab chemicals during their employment.

Jeffrey L. Blount; James E. Elswick Jr.; Theodore Hapney; Carl R. Hicks; Gary W. Hodge; William E. Hodge; Elmer Lee Johnson; Charles T. Koenig; Wilda March; John L. McGraw; Roy E. McNeal Jr.; Steven Nickell; and Donald Raines Jr. claim the defendant failed to warm them adequately of the adverse health effects and risk of harm from exposure to the chemicals, according to 13 complaints filed June 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim their employers failed to provide adequate and protected work environments and ventilation and failed to provide adequate personal protective clothing and equipment for use with float-sink chemicals.

As a result of the defendants' conduct, the plaintiffs have suffered an increased risk of contracting serious diseases, including damage to peripheral and central nervous systems; damage to liver and kidneys; cancer; blood disorders; reproductive problems; skin disorders; respiratory problems; and other temporary and permanent damages, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages, recovery of the costs for medical screening and future medical monitoring and pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Thomas F. Basile, Robin L. Greenwald, William A. Walsh and Curt D. Marshall.

Blount, McNeal and Johnson's cases have been assigned to Circuit Judge Tod J. Kaufman. McGraw, Hapney, Hicks, and Raines' cases have been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster. March and Nickell's cases have been assigned to Circuit Judge Charles King. Gary Hodge's case has been assigned to Circuit Judge James C. Stucky. William Hodge and Koenig's cases have been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey. Elswick's case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Arkema, Inc.; Belmont Laboratories; Cannelton Industries, Inc.; Carbon Fuel Company; Cedar Coal Co.; Commercial Coal Testing, LLC; Commercial Testing and Engineering Co.; Diamond Shamrock, Inc.; Donaldson Mine Company; Dow Chemical Company; Gulf States Energy, Inc.; ICL-IP America, Inc.; Ineos Chlor America, Inc.; Interstate Chemical Co., Inc.; JSC Kaustik; Legacy Vulcan Corp.; Magic Chemicals, Inc.; Mid-State Chemical & Supply Corp.; Miljac, Inc.; Occidental Chemical Corporation; Oltchim, S.A.; PPG Industries; Preiser Scientific, Inc.; Primachem, Inc.; PVS Chemicals, Inc.; Solvay Chemicals International SA; SGS North America, Inc.; Standard Laboratories, Inc.; Technical Testing Laboratories, Inc.; United States Steel Corporation; Univar USA; US Chemicals, Inc.; US Steel Mining Company, LLC; and Valley Camp Coal Company were named as defendants in the suits.

Kanawha Circuit Court case numbers: 10-C-1109, 10-C-1110, 10-C-1111, 10-C-1113, 10-C-1114, 10-C-1115, 10-C-1116, 10-C-1117, 10-C-1118, 10-C-1119, 10-C-1120, 10-C-1121, 10-C-1122

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