According to the Joplin Globe (9/19/13), the lawsuit alleges Empire District Electric Co. knew it was exposing employees at a power plant to asbestos and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) but did not provide those employees with adequate training or safety gear to handle the hazardous materials. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that employees were asked to remove dangerous materials, such as asbestos insulation, in such a way that they would not be found.
According to the lawsuit (court documents can be found at koamtv.com), Empire knowingly exposed employees to hazardous materials, “without implementing precautionary measures to protect them from acquiring an occupational disease.”
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Rider claims that the actions of his employer either have or are likely to cause injury to him and other members of the class. That injury includes a “significantly increased risk of contracting cancer and other diseases relative to what would be the case in the absence of exposure to known carcinogens.” The lawsuit claims Empire knew or should have known about the asbestos in the plant and that there was a risk that the asbestos would be released into the air during the plant’s conversion.
The lawsuit (case number 1390-CC00284, in the circuit court of Jasper County, Missouri) seeks compensatory damages and medical monitoring for class members to determine whether exposure to the hazardous substances caused any illness.