Owens Glass employee files $600k personal injury suit

Steve Gonzalez May 25, 2005, 12:00pm

Derrick Ketchum, an employee of Owens Brockway Glass Container in Godfrey, filed a 12-count, $600,000 suit against his employer and Castrol Inc. claiming he was sickened from exposure to Syntilo 9918 and other “metal working fluids.”

In the suit filed May 25 in Madison County Circuit Court, Ketchum, a machinist at Owens since 1992, claims respiratory and skin problems from direct exposure to metal working fluids in handling parts, tools and equipment.

Ketchum is represented by Ted Gianaris of SimmonsCooper in East Alton.

“Plaintiff developed severe and chronic respiratory difficulties (including) shortness of breath, chronic and persistent cough, inability to breathe normally, asthma, skin lesions, nasal passage irritation and lesions, anxiety and depression,” according to the complaints.

The suit alleges negligence, strict liability, willful and wanton misconduct and breach of warranty.

It also includes a count of battery against Owens.

“The defendant intended to cause the plaintiff to be touched by the liquid containing Syntilo 9918,” the suit claims.

According to the complaint, exposure to metal working fluids (MWFs) poses an increased risk of cancer of the lungs, esophagus, skin, stomach, pancreas, larynx, colon, rectum and other organs.

“Defendants knew Syntilo 9918 and other MWFs contained triethanolamine and were hazardous, and that exposure to these chemicals, especially in large amounts would cause various permanent injuries,” the suit claims.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge George Moran.

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