Hammond police officer sues over exposure to ammonia gas

Michelle Keahey Aug. 12, 2011, 4:16am


A Hammond police officer has filed a lawsuit claiming that he developed cancer 10 days after being exposed to significant quantities of ammonia gas.

Carl Wayne Scivicque and Rebecca Scivicque filed suit against Sunshine State Dairy Farms, Winn-Dixie Logistics Inc., Winn-Dixie Montgomery Leasing, Winn-Dixie Procurement, Winn-Dixie Properties, Winn-Dixie Warehouse Leasing and Zurich American Insurance Co. on July 8 in Tangipahoa Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Aug. 4.

According to the lawsuit, a large amount of ammonia gas leaked from either the dairy processing facility or distribution center on July 11, 2010. As a sergeant in the Hammond Police Department, Carl Scivicque responded to the leak and states he was exposed to and inhaled a large amount of ammonia gas. He was overcome by the gas and was taken to the hospital and treated for chemical burns to his mouth, nasal passages, lungs and trachea.

Approximately 10 days after the exposure, Scivicque discovered cancer in his lymph nodes which he states metastasized from a small tumor on his tongue, as a result of the chemical burns.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to properly design and construct the facilities and for failing to properly operate and maintain the facility.

Scivicque is seeking damages for medical expenses, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, disability and disfigurement, loss of consortium, court costs and interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by Donald W. Price of Due, Price, Guidry, Piedrahita & Andrews in Baton Rouge.

Case No. 2:11-cv-01883

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