Seattle police officer sues city for $ 10 million claiming he was exposed to & # 39; extremely dangerous man-made toxins & # 39; while cleaning up a homeless camp
- Timothy Gifford, a police officer in Seattle, has filed a claim of $ 10 million against the city
- He claims that he was exposed to an & # 39; extremely dangerous man-made toxin & # 39; when he was assigned to clean up a homeless camp in the SoDo neighborhood
- Gifford claims that he has been exposed to high concentrations of the toxic chemical compounds polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
- The chemicals were once widely used in electrical equipment such as capacitors and transformers
- Gifford says the exposure exacerbated a lifelong liver disease, causing him to be diagnosed with early type 2 diabetes
- Up to this point, the man claims that he was generally in good health
A Seattle police officer has filed a $ 10 million claim against the city for negligently exposing him to & # 39; an extremely dangerous man-made toxin & # 39; by instructing him and other city workers to clean up a homeless camp.
Officer Timothy Gifford claims that he was exposed to high concentrations of the toxic chemical compounds polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB & # 39; s) during the cleanup of the camp on a gravel site in the Sodo district. Seattle Times.
As a result of the alleged exposure, Gifford claims in the Wednesday application that type 2 diabetes was diagnosed with early onset and now generally suffers from poor health.
Timothy Gifford, a police officer in Seattle, has filed a claim of $ 10 million against the city. He claims that he was exposed to an & # 39; extremely dangerous man-made toxin & # 39; when he was assigned to clean up a homeless camp in the SoDo neighborhood (photo on file)
His lawyer Lincoln Beauregard says that the officer had previously been in good physical health and had had a lifelong liver disease during more than seven years in police work.
& # 39; Exposure to these toxins damaged its already sensitive liver even further, & # 39; Beauregard said. & # 39; Now he is confronted with ongoing medical care. & # 39;
A spokesperson for the city's Finance and Administration department, who handles claims about tort, says the department does not comment on active claims or lawsuits.
City authorities and officials have acknowledged that the removal of the homeless camp has taken place and, separately, that the industrial site of the city where the camp was located later turned out to be contaminated, requiring continued remediation.
Gifford claims that he was exposed to high concentrations of the toxic chemical compounds polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that worsened a lifelong liver disease, causing him to be diagnosed with type 2 early diabetes (file photo)
At least 17 homeless people had in the & # 39; camp & # 39; lived.
How and when the site was infected is unknown. Civil servants involved in cleaning up suspect that a homeless camp resident who saves metal may have dismantled an electrical transformer and drained contaminated liquids from it.
Gifford was part of the city's navigation team, consisting of police officers and aid workers who were to lure homeless campers to shelters and remove camps that the city had deemed unsafe.
Gifford & # 39; s claim for damages, which includes internal city documents that indicate that as many as 58 other city workers may have been exposed to unsafe PCB levels on the site, states that he & # 39; was not warned or trained for the associated hazards or had issued suitable protective equipment & # 39; clean up before the camp in January.
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