Owens Glass workers claim exposure made them sick

By Ann Knef | Apr 7, 2005

Ted Gianaris of SimmonsCooper

Five employees of Owens Brockway Glass Container in Godfrey filed 12-count, $600,000 suits against their employer and Castrol Inc. claiming they were sickened from exposure to Syntilo 9918 and other “metal working fluids.”

Represented by Ted Gianaris from SimmonsCooper of East Alton, William Crain Jr., Kurt Wrischnik, Darrell Allen, Mike DeSherlia and Thomas Hill—all Madison County residents--filed complaints April 4 in Madison County Circuit Court.

“Plaintiffs 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.

Allen, DeSherlia and Hill all developed lung tumors from their exposure, according to the suit. Allen’s were malignant; DeSherlia’s and Hill’s were benign.

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 plaintiffs to be touched by the liquid containing Syntilo 9918,” the suit claims.

“Defendant’s unauthorized touching of Plaintiff’s proximately caused Plaintiffs to develop illness.”

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.

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