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Suit: Recycling plant gave kids lead poisoning

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Posted at 7:31 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 19:31:58-05

CINCINNATI — A Tri-State man is suing a Cincinnati-based waste management and recycling company after he said safety violations at the facility where he worked resulted in his children sustaining lead poisoning.

The plaintiffs, Anthony Harrell and Danielle Walker, say in the lawsuit that WWS Associates, Inc., (doing business as 2 TRG) — Harrell’s employer — violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards, resulting in Harrell tracking on his clothing lead-based debris, particles, flakes, powder and dust home to his two young children.

Harrell was working at then-WWS-owned Kenwood Recycling Plant, an electronics recycling facility located on Kenwood Road, at the time of the violations, according to the suit, and as a result, elevated lead-levels were measured in the two young children.

The suit also states WWS was guilty of prior OSHA violations at the time of Harrell’s alleged exposure to lead-based particles.

Specifically, the suit states, the recycling plant was found to have exposed its workers to more than 200 percent the permissible limit in June 2010.

This was around the same time Harrell’s children, along with Harrell himself, were tested for lead levels. All three were found to have elevated lead-levels in their blood, the suit states, affecting their spleen, liver, kidneys, bones and brains.

“Throughout the period after the Plaintiffs’ lead exposure they have endured pains and humiliations and anguish cause by abnormal brain development and functions as a result of the damage from the lead,” the suit charges.

The suit lists learning disabilities, shortened attention spans, impulsivity, hyperactivity, behavioral and social problems and difficulty reading among the symptoms experienced by the children in question.

The suit also names WWS founder and Chief Executive Officer Carol Weinstein and Kenwood Recycling Plant’s environmental health and safety manager at the time, Doyle R. Calvi, as defendants in the suit.

WWS and all its assets were acquired by E-Waste Systems Cincinnati, Inc. in 2013, according to the suit, and E-Waste Systems also is listed as a co-defendant.

The plant is no longer in service subsequent to the merger.

The plaintiffs are seeking at least $25,000 in compensatory damages along with attorney’s and court fees.