Five Things to Catch Up On: 10/21, Weekend Edition


Sarasota, FL ( -

1) PA: Plumber Alleges He Was Exposed to Multiple Dangers Chemicals While on the Job (FRIDAY)

Philadelphia plumber David Dignetti and wife Deirdre have filed a lawsuit against the University of Pennsylvania, alleging “…a pipe he was working on, which was connected to a campus laboratory, potentially exposed him to a host of blood-borne pathogenic diseases,” writes Nicholas Malfitano of the Pennsylvania Record. “…Unbeknownst to the plaintiff, the pipe was a waste line leading from a campus laboratory, one believed to have recently been in use to conduct experiments on monkeys, primates and other animals.” The couple has encountered a few legal roadblocks, including a potential cross-claim to be filed by the University of Pennsylvania, alleging Torcon, another company, might be to blame for the potential exposure. “’…The infectious waste/liquid which shot out of the laboratory waste line, upon information and belief, contained potential infectious diseases and or microbes of, including, but not limited to: Primate Herpes (Herpes Simian B) HIV1, HIV2, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Herpes, pathogenic Escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, plasmodium falciparium, toxoplasma Gondi and blood-borne pathogens that are found in a biosafety level 2 laboratory,’” per the suit and article. The couple request damages at more than $50G, interest, trial-by-jury, and court costs.

2) Altercation Ensues Between Disney World Guest and Park Employee Last Week (THURSDAY)

Marc Rubin of New York took his girlfriend to Disney World in hopes of proposing to her in front of the Magic Kingdom Castle. But the proposal quickly turned awry when the couple allegedly got in the way of a “parade route,” writes Michelle Gant of Fox News. “…When the cast member, Nicole Guzman-Ortiz, 24, made the request, Rubin reportedly screamed at her, grabbed her shirt and threatened to punch her in the face, according to the arrest report,” per the article. Rubin has moved forward in a lawsuit against the park, requesting more than $15,000 for alleged false battery accusations and a wrongful arrest, per court documents. “…A spokesperson for Disney told Fox News, ‘The safety of the people who work in and visit our parks is very important to us. We will respond to the allegations as appropriate in court.’”

3) WA: All Spokane Police Dept. Rifles to Have Suppressors (WEDNESDAY)

Every rifle of the 181 in supply for Spokane police will soon have suppressors, writes Beth Baumann of “…The move is said to protect the department from workers’ compensation claims and civilian lawsuits,” per the article, referencing the Spokesman-Review. The additions will cost the city approximately $115,000. While some citizens expressed confusion in the need for the suppressors, hearing protection for police officers was cited as the leading reason for the decision.

4) CT: Prison Guards File Lawsuits for Alleged Radon Exposure (TUESDAY)

Hartford prison guards have taken an alleged exposure suit to federal court, according to AP writer Pat Eaton-Robb, featured in the Norwich Bulletin. “…A federal judge last month ruled against the state’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit by 13 inmates inside the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown. They allege Correction Department officials exposed them to high levels of the radioactive gas, creating unconstitutional and inhumane conditions of confinement inside the maximum-security prison,” per the article. “A separate lawsuit was filed in state court in August by 16 former guards and staff members, several of whom suffer from respiratory ailments. It asserts the staff should have been informed of the radon problem.” As of September’s end, U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton decided against a federal request to dismiss the case based on immunity laws. It’s possible both prisoners and guards have been exposed to harmful chemicals, but guards have been asked to get tested if medical problems arise, to file for potential work comp benefits. Testing for this type of exposure didn’t start until 2003; the prison opened in the early 90s.

5) Mister Rogers Movie Employee Dies in PA (MONDAY)

A Mount Lebanon set employee for Mister Rogers, the movie, died last week after he fell two stories, according to AP in Page Six. “(James) Emswiller was involved in the sound production of ‘You Are My Friend,’ which was shooting a scene in Mount Lebanon,” per the article. Not a lot of details were available as of press time, but Tom Hanks was on set, who later left. Hanks will play the role of Mister Rogers.

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