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Lawsuit Alleges Empire Electric Knowingly Exposed Workers to Asb - KOAM TV 7

Lawsuit Alleges Empire Electric Knowingly Exposed Workers to Asbestos

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A lawsuit alleges that Empire District Electric Company's Riverton Power Station knowingly exposed employees to asbestos and other hazardous materials.  

The old coal-fired power plant in Riverton, Kansas was built using asbestos like many of its time, but now one current employee, Les Rider, is alleging asbestos wiring and insulation is not only prevalent, but exposed--and disintegrating into the air and lungs of employees.
 
"Asbestos particles were friable and were inhaled repeatedly by the employees over the last twenty years," said Rider's attorney Bryan Stevenson.
 
According to the National Cancer Institute, exposure to asbestos in the air may increase the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma. And according to Stevenson, Missouri law states that a company who exposes employees to it, are entitled to money for medical monitoring. And he says his client wasn't the only one exposed.

"We know for a fact that there are individuals who have developed cancers, and we understand that these are the kinds of cancers that are caused by asbestos exposure," said Stevenson.
 
We did reach out to Empire for a comment on the allegations and in a written response it replied that, Empire, "does not comment on matters currently in litigation". We also reached out to Empire's lawyer Gary Curtis Lentz for a statement on behalf of his clients, but he also declined to comment.

Stevenson says his client and other employees were asked to dispose of various scrap materials in the course of the plant's recent conversion from coal-fired power to natural gas. And says they were not given the proper safety guidelines to do so.

"There are a whole class of employees who have been exposed, and we're seeking to treat this as a class action to cover all of those employees," Stevenson said.

Stevenson says the lawsuit is still in the earliest of days and that it might be years before this class action suit sees the inside of a court room, but Stevenson did file an injunction against Empire to prevent the plant from cleaning up any proof that asbestos exposure might still be prevalent in the plant.


For copies of the court documents, click on the links below:









    


 

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