Saturday, March 13, 2004

Silica Lawsuit

Last month I wrote about hundreds of workers who were exposed to silica dust while digging a tunnel for a nuclear repository for the Department of Energy (DOE). According to the DOE, up to 1,500 of them may have inhaled airborne silica.
"This lawsuit will expose an outrageous fraud against the work force and even the visitors at Yucca Mountain, one that's already killing people," said plaintiff Gene Griego, who worked as a tunnel supervisor at the Yucca Mountain site.

Griego, a nonsmoker who lives in Las Vegas, was diagnosed last year with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The lawsuit names Bechtel Corp. and its Nevada subsidiaries on the Yucca Mountain project; Bechtel SAIC Corp. of Delaware; Kiewit Group of Delaware; Parsons Brinckerhoff Construction of Delaware and subsidiaries; Morrison-Knudsen, now known as Washington Group International of Delaware; and TRW Automotive Holdings of Delaware and subsidiaries.
But not to worry...
Energy Department spokesman Joe Davis said Thursday that because the DOE was not named as a party to the lawsuit, it would not comment. But he added that the health and safety of Yucca Mountain workers "has been and continues to be our first priority."
Yeah, just like worker health and safety was a priority at Hanford.