Could a hospital employee sue their employer for getting skin infection from the cleaning chemicals that the hospital uses to clean patient rooms?

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Could a hospital employee sue their employer for getting skin infection from the cleaning chemicals that the hospital uses to clean patient rooms?

A friend of mine works at a local hospital, cleaning patient rooms and other duties of that nature. The cleaning chemicals that the hospital has the employees using has gave my friend some sort of skin infection that creates dark

Asked on May 5, 2014 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The employee might only have a cause of action against the hospital IF the chemical is known to be generally hazardous (i.e. it's not just that he's particularly sensitive) AND the hospital is requiring him to use it without proper safety equipment and/or training; and also only if he is not misusing it (that is, he's not using more than the hospital told him to use; or he's choosing to not put on safety gloves they gave him; etc.). Basically, the hospital must be doing something wrong. If they're not--if the chemical is not known to cause this or similar problems, for example--they would not be liable.

Even then, he might have to accept worker's compensation as his compensation, rather than file a lawsuit.


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