“At one point, workers were told ‘you could drink fly ash daily and suffer no adverse health effects,’ according to the complaint …. In fact, when some workers were prescribed respirators or protective masks, ‘they were ordered not to wear said items.'”
by Bob Flowers / knoxnews.com
In a Dec. 23, 2008, photograph, the stacks of TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant in Roane County stand over 5.4 million cubic yards of ash sludge after the failure of a storage cell. (J. Miles Cary/News Sentinel)
They call it Fly Ash Flu.
It’s the name some workers at the Kingston ash spill site gave health woes they say they incurred from prolonged exposure to a witch’s brew of toxic substances in coal ash.
A federal lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court targets the company hired by TVA to make sure cleanup of the disastrous coal ash spill at its Kingston Fossil Plant [in Tennessee] was done safely.
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., an international provider of professional technical services based in Pasadena, Calif., had a TVA contract that “greatly exceeded $40 million” to oversee safety guidelines, according to the lawsuit.
The complaint seeks compensatory damages for pain and suffering and punitive damages of up to 20 percent of all contracts Jacobs Engineering had with TVA for its work.
The lawsuit hadn’t been served on Jacobs Engineering late Thursday.
Knoxville attorney James K. Scott filed the 21-page complaint on behalf of 34 current and former workers at the ash spill cleanup site, along with 17 spouses.
Other plaintiffs are expected to join the complaint, Scott said Thursday.
Virtually all of the plaintiffs have respiratory problems, Scott said. Other health issues range from heart problems to sinus ailments to skin rashes.
The federal complaint alleges that Jacobs Engineering knew coal ash contained toxic, hazardous substances but lied to workers about it.