Employee Files Lawsuit After Exposure to Chlorine Gas

Lawsuit highlights interesting points about toxic exposure cases

Exposure to chlorine causes countless injuries every year. These injuries can range from skin irritation or burns to severe respiratory injuries and fatal explosions. Chlorine gas was actually used as a chemical weapon during World War I, which provides an idea of just how dangerous this substance can be.

Chlorine is used in many industrial processes, which means employees are sometimes at risk for injuries due to workplace accidents involving chlorine. One such work accident is currently the subject of a lawsuit.

The plaintiff in the suit is Felix Shuck, an employee of Pacific Steel and Recycling in Spokane, Washington. In 2015, Shuck and seven other workers were exposed to toxic levels of chlorine gas when an unlabeled drum containing 2,000 pounds of chlorine gas was crushed as part of the recycling process. One of the workers died, and Shuck suffered severe lung damage. His lung capacity was cut in half, leaving him disabled and out of work.

This case is interesting because there seem to be two potential liable parties: Shuck’s employer, Pacific Steel and Recycling, and the company the drum of chlorine came from, Ibex Construction.

Pacific Steel and Recycling’s negligence is supported by the fact that the company has already been fined by a government agency for improper handling of the drum of gas. They failed to strip off pressure gauges or require a certificate confirming that the barrel was empty before they accepted it for recycling.

Ibex Construction’s negligence stems from the fact that they failed to label the drum of gas before handing it to a contractor for drop off at Pacific Steel and Recycling.

However, Shuck’s lawsuit only targets Ibex Construction. Why? Perhaps because when a third party (not the employer) is liable for a work accident, employees have the ability to pursue a personal injury claim rather than a workers’ comp claim. This likely presents the possibility of increased compensation for Shuck.

Have You Been Exposed to a Toxic Substance?

If you have been exposed to a toxic substance due to someone else’s negligence, you can and should seek compensation. This is true regardless of whether the exposure occurred as part of a work accident or not. For example, lots of workers and their families are currently pursuing asbestosis or mesothelioma lawsuits based on toxic exposure to asbestos.

At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have the skills, knowledge, and resources required to handle complex toxic exposure cases. To learn more about your legal rights and options, please contact us at 800-333-0000 for a free initial consultation.