Idaho Workplace Injury Lawsuit Cites “Radioactive Dust”August 7, 2015
An employee at an Idaho nuclear power plant has filed a workplace injury lawsuit alleging that unsafe working conditions in the plant made other workers ill. The nuclear operator at the plant claims that he and other employees were either provided with inadequate safety equipment, or none at all, while handling dangerous radioactive materials. Battelle Energy Alliance, the operators of the plant, sought to dismiss the workplace injury lawsuit. A federal judge refused to dismiss the case and allowed the worker’s claims to go forward.
Details of the Workplace Injury Lawsuit
Brian Simmons, a “nuclear operator” at the plant, filed a lawsuit against Battelle in 2014. The workplace injury lawsuit cites an incident on November 8, 2011. The suit alleges that workers encountered damaged radioactive plates wrapped in clear plastic and adhesive tape. The workplace injury lawsuit claims that the employees were told to pick up the plates, despite not having the proper safety gear. Mr. Simmons stated that he stopped working when he noticed “black powder falling from” the damaged plate. The incident led to at least 16 employees being exposed to radioactive materials.
Injures Claimed in Workplace Injury Lawsuit
Mr. Simmons claimed in his workplace injury lawsuit that the company did not provide him or the other workers with adequate medical care after their exposure. He also claimed that he suffered injuries during the incident, as well as nausea, fatigue and vomiting almost immediately after his exposure. The workplace injury lawsuit also seeks compensation for expenses related to future medical care. Due to his exposure to radioactive materials, Mr. Simmons may face future health problems, including various forms of cancer.
Plant Operators Want Workplace Injury Lawsuit Dismissed
Attorneys for Battelle asked U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to dismiss the workplace injury lawsuit. The company claimed that the dispute between it and Mr. Simmons should be covered under the state’s workers compensation laws. The judge wrote that the company “owed a duty under Idaho’s worker’s compensation laws to provide medical treatment to Simmons” and failed to do so. Judge Winmill dismissed Battelle’s claims, writing that the injuries endured by Mr. Simmons and other employees “were caused by the willful or unprovoked physical aggression of Battelle.” The “physical aggression” clause creates an exemption under state workers compensation law, which allows Mr. Simmons to proceed with the workers compensation lawsuit.
Source: Courthouse News
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