Thursday, October 6, 2016

Grant County orchard workers file suit after they say they were "poisoned" by crop duster

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash – A group of seven orchard workers filed a lawsuit in Yakima County Superior Court against Jones Produce and Ag Air Flying Service after they say they became sick after being exposed to pesticides.

Columbia Legal Services, out of Seattle, sent out a news release Wednesday saying the plaintiffs in the lawsuit were at Jones Produce working in 2014 when a crop duster with Ag Air Flying Service flew over to crop dust a potato field.

The pilot of the crop dusting plane allegedly allowed the pesticides to drift off-target to the nearby orchard where the seven plaintiffs were working. Columbia Legal Services said the workers were then poisoned by the pesticide, causing the workers to suffer “headaches, numbness and tingling in the face and lips, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest.”

The suit is seeking damages, monetary compensation, for the workers’ injuries according to Columbia Legal Services.

"The pesticide laws are very clear," says Joe Morrison, a Columbia Legal Services attorney who represents the workers. "It is a violation to spray in a manner inconsistent with the label and the labels clearly state not to permit drift onto people.

Ag Air was cited by an administrative law judge in May 2016 according to Columbia Legal Services for violating pesticide application laws where they forced to pay a $440 penalty and put a pilot on suspension.

View the legal complaint here.


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