What happened in Tampa Bay with Gopher Resource?
Gopher Resource operates as a recycling plant for lead batteries and other metal products. Recently, the Tampa Bay times uncovered a stark reality about the true conditions of this plant that many of their employees have worked under the past few years. Located just 6 miles east of downtown Tampa, the Gopher Resource lead smelter employs over 300 people, many of them belonging to Black or immigrant communities. The investigation uncovered the disturbing reality that Gopher Resource has failed to properly protect their employees and many face health conditions resulting from increased lead exposure.
Symptoms of Lead Exposure
As a result of their work at Gopher Resource, many employees reported health problems, of which there is some correlation to increased levels of lead exposure. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that short-term overexposure to lead can result in the following symptoms: abdominal pain, constipation, tired, headaches, irritable moods, loss of appetite, memory loss, pain or tingling in the hands and/or feet weakness. The symptoms of lead poisoning share characteristics with other conditions and detection can prove illusive. For a person to exhibit noticeable symptoms of lead poisoning it can take until a persons’ blood lead levels reach a dangerous level.
A troubling fact that the Tampa Bay Times illuminated in their story was the potential exposure of children to this lead powder, that employees could have brought in to their homes unknowingly. Stephanie Miles-Richardson shares that the most dangerous age group for exposure to lead exists in children under the age of 6.
What does this mean if I think I have lead poisoning from Gopher Resources?
Anyone who works as a current or former employee can reach out to our team at Swope, Rodante P.A. Our Gopher Resource lawyers have knowledge of the facts of the situation and can help determine what the next steps that they should take.
An attorney can help as employees or their families handle the complexities that come with litigation and understanding how to protect themselves against corporate giants like Gopher Resource.
A previous lawsuit against a different lead smelting company went to a jury trial and the jury determined that the company should not choose profits over people.
How can Swope, Rodante P.A. help my case against Gopher Resource?
At Swope, Rodante P.A. our lawyers fight with all that they have. As soon as we agree to take on a case for our clients, we begin preparing for a jury trial. When we agree to fight a case for our clients that is our priority, helping our clients as they navigate what comes next following a life-changing incident. We take pride in knowing that we can take on the biggest corporations, including insurance giants, utility providers, and universities without backing down from a fight. Everyone deserves the right to go to work in an environment that follows all safety regulations and protects its employees. We practice based on the idea of protecting not only our clients but making sure no on else ends up in the situation that landed our client in a lawsuit ever again. In order to do that, we have to make sure that the pressure put on these behemoth corporations feel the pain just as they have induced on our clients.
If you have questions, call to speak with a member of the team today: 813-273-0017.
- Frankel, T. C. (2011, July 30). $320 million verdict in lead smelter case sends clear message. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/320-million-verdict-in-lead-smelter-case-sends-clear-message/article_12f7e0ba-29ab-5894-8067-9a45ad255cfa.html
- Health problems caused by lead. (2018, June 18). Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/health.html
- Johnson, C. G., Woolington, R., & Murray, E. (2021, March 24). Florida’s only lead SMELTER exposed hundreds of workers to high lead levels. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://projects.tampabay.com/projects/2021/investigations/lead-factory/gopher-workers/
- Lead poisoning. (2019, December 20). Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354717
- Miles-Richardson, S., Dr. (2000, October 27). Ask an expert: Lead toxicity a concern for children. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from http://www.cnn.com/2000/fyi/teachers.tools/10/27/expert.stephanie5/index.html