Legal News

Odor at The College of New Jersey Caused Employees to Suffer Respiratory Problems
Download PDF

On October 20, 2011, Marisa Hutton called 911 at The College of New Jersey complaining about trouble breathing, according to The Times of Trenton. “I’m not feeling too good, if you can send someone over here. I’m having a hard time breathing. There is some kind of smell over here.”

Hutton has an office in Armstrong Hall, which holds classrooms and offices for the School of Engineering. The responding officer, Julia Verwers, reported the following: Hutton “had numbness and tingling in her left arm,” was “asthmatic and having difficulty breathing,” and “having a hard time staying conscious.”

  
What
Where


A couple of days prior to Hutton’s issues, a work crew started placing an adhesive on the building as part of a job to replace the roof. The adhesive caused a chemical odor that seeped into the halls, classrooms and offices. The work continued for months, causing the odor to remain and cause complaints from employees.

Emails sent internally suggested that administrators suggest ‘hand holding’ and environmental health officers talk the employees into living with the smell out of fear of mass amounts of relocation requests. Hutton made it through the problems she suffered on October 20, but her attorney claims that her respiratory issues have increased because of the exposure to the adhesive.

At least six employees of the school reported suffering from dizziness, headaches, eye irritation or nausea from the odor in October of 2011. In the weeks following, other employees reported concerns about the smell and how it would affect staff and students. The work was completed in December of 2011.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




The dean of the engineering school, Steven Schreiner, wrote a letter to the director of campus construction, William Rudeau, voicing his concerns and frustrations. The letter was sent on December 9, 2011.

“I hope this is the end of this — if there is any additional use of the adhesive, it needs to be scheduled when the building is closed,” he wrote. “Today’s level of odor was unacceptable, and I have no faith that the contractor can keep it out of the building.”



Hutton was one of the very first employees to suffer symptoms from the odor in the building, with most of the effects lingering today.

“Her doctors are saying that she has become asthmatically sensitized,” said attorney Edward Slaughter of Pellettieri, Rabstein & Altman. “It is not as though she is chronically ill in the sense that she needs constant pulmonary support, … but if she comes into contact with certain smells or odors, she will react, and she will react negatively. She attempted to get herself into a situation where she was not going to be exposed. I know that she did try to get a transfer and I know that it did take a long time to occur.”



 

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Attorney with 3-7 years of litigation experience

USA-IL-Chicago

Chicago office of our client seeks attorney with 3-7 years of litigation experience. The candidate s...

Apply Now

Defense Attorney with 3-4 years of litigation experience

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office of our client seeks defense attorney with 3-4 years of solid litigation experie...

Apply Now

Mid-level IP Litigation Attorney with electrical engineering experience

USA-CA-San Francisco

San Francisco office of our client seeks mid-level intellectual property attorney with 3-5 years of ...

Apply Now

Labor and Employment Attorney with 3-4 years of litigation experience

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office of our client seeks labor and employment attorney with 3-4 years of litigation ex...

Apply Now

RELEVANT JOBS

Associate Attorney

USA-AL-Birmingham

Associate with three (3) to five (5) years of experience to work in its Architects / Engineers ...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-AL-Birmingham

Associate to practice in the firm\'s Employment litigation group.  Three (3) to five (5) years ...

Apply now

Sr. Attorney I

USA-DC-Washington

To be part of the AMA is to be part of our Mission to promote the art and science of medicine and th...

Apply now

Worker's Compensation Paralegal

USA-GA-Savannah

SUMMARY Work client files through the various stages of pre-litigation with an emphasis on client...

Apply now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top