Emissions testers sue DuPont for chemical exposure

By David Yates | Apr 24, 2008

Jason Itkin

A couple whose job it was to detect chemical emissions is suing EI DuPont De Nemours for exposing them to chemicals while at work.

Christopher and Jacqueline Bertrand, employees of METCO Non-Destructive Testing Co., also claim they suffered "orthopedic injuries while escaping the toxic DuPont plant." They filed suit against DuPont on April 23 in the Jefferson County District Court.

On March 11, 2004, more than four years ago, the couple says 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 Bertrands' suit.

"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 suing for past and future medical expenses, mental anguish and loss of consortium, plus compensatory and actual damages.

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

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th Judicial District.

Case No. A181-647

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