Emissions testers claiming chemical exposure get trial date against DuPont

David Yates Dec. 7, 2009, 8:24am


A couple whose job it was to detect chemical emissions and sued EI DuPont De Nemours for exposing them to chemicals will finally face the company in court next month.

As the Southeast Texas Record previously reported, Christopher and Jacqueline Bertrand, employees of METCO Non-Destructive Testing Co., also claim they suffered "orthopedic injuries while escaping the toxic DuPont plant."

They were scheduled to receive their day in court on Monday, Dec. 7, but the case has been continued and the new trial date is Jan. 19.

The couple filed their suit against DuPont on April 23, 2008, in the Jefferson County District Court.

Case history

On March 11, 2004, the Bertrands claim they were told to take UT thickness readings from one of DuPont's storage tanks, without being supplied with the proper safety equipment and gear, according to the original lawsuit.

"Plaintiffs' hydrogen cyanide monitors detected unsafe levels of the toxin," the suit said. "Defendant was aware of this, yet insisted that Plaintiffs' remain on the job. Furthermore, Defendant failed to provide Plaintiffs with proper training or safety equipment."

In the course of their task, the Bertrands allege that they were exposed to hazardous levels of hydrogen cyanide, nitrobenzene and other dangerous chemicals.

"As a result of their exposure, Plaintiffs suffer from high fever, migraines, respiratory problems, vomiting, blurred vision, serious seizures and other injuries," the suit says.

"Further, Plaintiffs continue to have severe pain and suffering as a result of their injuries. Plaintiffs also suffered orthopedic injuries while attempting to escape the toxic DuPont plant."

The plaintiffs claim DuPont negligently failed to train them and forced them to work in unsafe conditions without essential safety equipment.

The Bertrands are seeking damages for past and future medical expenses, mental anguish and loss of consortium, in addition to compensatory and actual damages.

They are represented by Jason Itkin of the Arnold & Itkin law firm.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District, is presiding over the litigation.

Case No. A181-647

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