Barge Vapors

Baton Rouge, LA: (Jan-17-08) A class action lawsuit was brought against owners and operators of a barge that leaked chemical vapors over West Baton Rouge Parish in 2004, alleging that the vapors caused approximately 6,000 class members to suffer nausea, dizziness and muscle cramps. The class action was filed in the 18th Judicial District in Port Allen the day of the incident, April 28, 2004. The suit named River City Towing Services of Denham Springs as the owner of the barge, named FT22. Sources stated that the leak led to the evacuation of Lukeville Upper Elementary School. State Police later identified the chemical giving off the rotten egg odor as sodium hydrosulfide, a chemical used in the production of paper and dyes and to process ores.

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services fact sheet stated that when inhaled, the chemical can irritate the lungs, causing several reactions. As part of a settlement reached, the owners and operators of the barge agreed to a $5 million settlement with the 6,000 claimants. [KATC NEWS: BARGE VAPORS]

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