First Lawsuit Filed After OSHA Shuts Down Work at Fraser Shipyards Due to Toxic Lead Exposure

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Madison, WI ( – This morning a federal lawsuit (Case Number: 16 cv 343) was filed in Madison, Wisconsin by James Holder, a 48-year-old welder and ship fabricator who was exposed to critically high and toxic levels of lead while working at Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin. This is the first reported lawsuit to have been filed for the toxic lead exposure that occurred earlier this year at Fraser Shipyards, which was widely reported in the media in March of 2016 when OSHA shut down the worksite because of the toxic levels of lead that were present. The lawsuit names as defendants Fraser Shipyards, Inc., Northern Engineering Company LLC, and Ohio based Interlake Steamship Company, who were in charge of the retrofitting work being performed on the Herbert C. Jackson, a 690′ bulk carrier ship undergoing dry-dock work at Fraser Shipyards.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Holder was amongst dozens of workers who had started retrofitting work in January of 2016 aboard the 57 year-old vessel when they were exposed to toxic levels of lead. The lawsuit alleges that as the project progressed, workers began to make complaints of unusual illnesses afflicting them, but were falsely reassured by the defendants that there was "nothing to be concerned about." Workers continued to fall ill until OSHA ordered a halt to all work aboard the vessel in March. In Mr. Holder’s case, the levels of lead in his blood were more than 7 times the level recognized by…

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