Cabinet maker claims exposure to toxic chemicals

Andrea Dearden May 7, 2012, 9:00am


A man who works for a Clinton County cabinet company says he developed respiratory problems after he was exposed to toxic chemicals in the machinery.

Derick D. Kruger filed a lawsuit April 9 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Delmac Machinery Group Inc., SCM Group North America Inc and Jowat Corporation. Tappers Inc., doing business as Westlund Distributing, is also named as a defendant.

According to the complaint, Markus Cabinet Manufacturing Company in Aviston bought an edge bander, a machine that glues veneer to cabinet surfaces, from Delmac Machinery and had it installed in January 2009. The equipment was allegedly put in by Delmac Machinery employees, who also provided training and instruction on how to use the machine.

Kruger, who worked for Markus Cabinet, claims the edge bander required a special adhesive known as Jowatherm Reactant, made by Jowat Corporation and distributed by Westlund Distributing. The glue is polyurethane supplied in solid form that must be heated to a liquid within the edge bander to attach the veneer, according to the petition. Kruger claims the reactant contained diphenyl methane diisocyanate, which caused his lungs to be damaged because of overexposure to the chemical.

Kruger accuses the defendants of negligence, claiming other hot melt adhesives could have been used in the edge bander instead of one that contained MDI. He conteds the damage to his lungs has kept him from returning to any kind of work that may irritate his condition.

Kruger is asking for more than $150,000 in damages for medical bills, loss of income and court fees.

Attorney Eric J. Carlson of Edwardsville is representing Kruger.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-173

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