July 14, 2023

Napa Valley Workers Suing After Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

A group of workers has filed a lawsuit for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages over allegations of being exposed to toxic chemicals in the Glass wildfire cleanup of 2020.

Some are blaming Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for failing to address earlier warnings.

"We didn’t have experience at all with these situations," said Jose Garibay Jr., one of the complainants and a former supervisor at the landfill.

"We didn’t have protocol for what happens in a fire, what happens in an emergency. We had no training whatsoever. But they did send us right after the fire to clean up the mess before officials showed up."

"Garibay said the only protective equipment they had were just N95 masks," Dennis Michael Lynch reported.

"Garibay said he was ultimately fired for voicing his concerns about the health risks and other safety issues at the landfill," it continued.

The lawsuit includes compensation for damages requested at $300 million with workers claiming they worked through unsafe conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic and toxins during the cleanup.

The cleanup also included servicing the home of Rep. Nancy Pelosi during the time, increasing concerns for Democrats in connection with the lawsuit.

The concerns could drag on for a lengthy time in court, with the state's Occupational Safety and Health Administration unable to share details until the case is completed.

The lawsuit may also be a concern for Newsom as it adds to other pressures in his state that could make his leadership difficult in the days ahead.

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