Machinist claims MWFs made him sick

Steve Gonzalez Aug. 21, 2006, 7:12am

Gerald Seehausen, 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 Aug. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court, Seehausen, a machinist at Owens since 1986, claims respiratory and skin problems from direct exposure to metal working fluids in handling parts, tools and equipment.

Seehausen 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," the complaint alleges.

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

"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.

Seehausen claims Castrol manufactured and sold Syntilo 9918 and other MWFs containing hazardous composite chemicals when adequate substitutes were available, failed to test, monitor and research data and records concerning workers and end-users regarding the human health effects of Syntilo 9918, failed to provide adequate warnings and failed to recall Syntilo 9918 and other MWFs that contained hazardous composite chemicals.

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