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Employees become ill with lead poisoning, seek compensation

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workers’ Compensation on Friday, February 15, 2013.

Cases or workers suffering because of a happening on the job typically make headlines in Illinois in instances where a crane collapses, something goes wrong at a factory or there is some sort of catastrophic injury that results. While these circumstances often entitle an injured Illinois worker to compensation benefits, there are other circumstances that could similarly see financial recovery for the victim.

Repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome can prevent a worker from continuing to work and thereby mean workers’ compensation benefits. So too, could an illness developed from a dangerous environmental exposure that leads to an illness. One of the more notable occupational health hazards that many victimized workers see recovery for is exposure to asbestos that results in mesothelioma.

However, asbestos is not the only possible dangerous environmental factor that could compromise the health of a worker in Illinois or elsewhere. Nine employees at an out-of-state gun range report that they became very ill when they were made to sift through and move hundreds of tons of soil that was laden with dangerous chemicals, including lead.

The lead was to be collected for resale, but the workers were never properly trained to be conducting such a task, nor were they given the necessary protective equipment or enough ventilation. Their employer quelled their raised concerns with lies stating that various regulators said the project was safe. The project was not safe and one by one, nine employees became ill. Testing revealed that the victimized workers were suffering from lead poisoning.

Consequently, the workers are now seeking legal recourse for this egregious behavior on behalf of their employer. They have filed a lawsuit seeking damages for these happenings and their subsequent poisoning. It remains to be seen how much a jury will award the workers in damages.

Source: Court House News Service, “Fired for Getting Lead Poisoning, Nine Say,” June Williams, Feb. 14, 2013

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