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Hospital Sues Chemical Firm After Accident

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (CN) - An industrial chemical spill exposed workers to toxic chemicals, and when the company sent them to a hospital emergency room they exposed patients and employees to the toxins, forcing the hospital to close its ER to be decontaminated, St. Anthony's Medical Center claims in St. Clair County Court.

The hospital sued G.S. Robins, corporate parent of Ro-Corp, whose workers were exposed to p-nitroanaline, a highly toxic material, the complaint states.

St. Anthony's claims Robins negligently exposed workers to toxic chemicals, then allowed them to leave the property to go to St. Anthony's emergency room.

The incident affected three Robins workers on Aug. 30, the complaint states. T

he three workers went to St. Anthony's Medical Center's emergency department, were extremely sick and were unable to provide information about their illnesses. The hospital said the three arrived by a private vehicle, with no advanced warning of the need for decontamination.

As a result, the entire hospital was put at risk of exposure through the ventilation system. St. Anthony's had to close the entire medical center until the risk subsided. It says the emergency department was closed for 24 hours to address potential contamination in employees and patients.

St. Anthony's claims G.S. Robins negligently allowed the workers to leave their property; failed to implement procedures to keep employees from being exposed to toxic materials; and failed to instruct employees on how to handle being exposed to toxic materials that would minimize the risk to others.

St. Anthony's claims the mishap cost it an undetermined amount for the clean-up, lost profits from the closure and other expenses that are continuing. It seeks more than $75,000 in damages and is represented by Thomas Keefe.

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