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Ag workers sue because of pesticide exposure

A group of agricultural workers who were sprayed by a crop-dusting plane in December are seeking financial damages for their workplace injury. The Arizona field hands said they suffered from a variety of symptoms, including irritation to their eyes, noses and ears. In addition, the victims reported shortness of breath and nausea after exposure to the hazardous chemical pesticide, according to an investigation into the matter. The Arizona Department of Agriculture recently released its findings in the case.

In this case, the workers are filing a suit against their employer, who contracted for the crop-dusting from another firm. The pilot and crop-dusting company have been reprimanded for their involvement in the incident, but the focus remains on the workers' compensation shortcomings of the workers' direct employer.

The workers have decided to file suits to pursue compensation for their medical bills because their employer refuses to acknowledge their injuries. Attorneys for the business say that long-term physical effects are unlikely to occur because of pesticide exposure, but scientific evidence points to a variety of illnesses and conditions that can be caused by exposure to such chemicals. The workers are seeking financial assistance to pay for future exams to ensure that they will not suffer from long-term health problems thanks to the incident.

Many of the workers were told that if their exams did not indicate any physical damage, they would be required to pay for the medical costs on their own. As a result, few workers sought medical treatment after the incident.

The Department of Agriculture only fined the company about $2,000 in connection with the crop-dusting exposure. That fine was levied because the workers' supervisor did not arrange for emergency medical treatment at the time of the exposure, even though workers asked to receive first-aid care.

If you have been injured on the job and denied workers' compensation benefits, you should seek help from a qualified personal injury or workers' compensation attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your rights, allowing you to get the money you need to treat your job-related illness or injury.

Source:  www.yumasun.com, "Ag workers seek compensation in pesticide spraying incident" Cesar Neyoy, Aug. 10, 2013

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