In June, over 80 Atlanta-based workers for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were potentially exposed to anthrax. A highly secure lab accidentally sent a batch of live anthrax to a less-secure laboratory that was not equipped to handle the live sample. Believing the samples to be the dead ones they were expecting, workers in the second facility did not protect themselves adequately, NBC News (6.29.14) reported. Both labs were located in the CDC’s own Atlanta laboratories.
Attorney at Law David Perecman joined a number of scientists and government officials in questioning the training and safety at the CDC. Apparently, the CDC has not joined a number of other labs in accepting a new process called biorisk management. The approach asks scientists who work with anthrax and other extremely dangerous microbes “systematically to consider what could go wrong before performing new experiments on these microbes, and to prepare responses, said NBC News.
According to NBC News, CDC officials said their organization has its own risk management system.
“Why not be extra safe and implement the new process,” said Perecman. “This incident shows that even the best laboratories can make mistakes. Given the potentially catastrophic consequences for workers and others, safety must be the top priority.”
Biorisk management was designed to help “compensate for an over reliance on technological safeguards,” reported NBC News.
“Any workplace where workers are at risk of exposure to dangerous agents and toxins that cause deadly diseases must take the necessary precautions to successfully protect their workers,” said Perecman. “People do not go to work expecting to get deathly ill, or die.”
New York personal injury lawyers at The Perecman Firm have helped many individuals who were hurt due to the negligence and wrongful acts of another. Contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.
The NBC News story cited is “Anthrax Scare: CDC Lab Didn’t Heed Its Own Lessons.”
About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:
For the past 30 years, the New York construction accident, medical malpractice, auto accident, personal injury, and civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have handled all types of New York personal injury cases, including workplace accidents. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, has been recognized for his achievements as an Honoree in the National Law Journal’s Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine’s “The Best Lawyers in America” and The New York Times Magazine “New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition” for the years 2007-2010. The prestigious U.S. News & World Report ranks The Perecman Firm among the top 20 personal injury firms in New York City for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict** for a construction accident (Index 112370/03) Supreme Court, New York County, a $5.35 million dollar verdict*** for an automobile accident (Index 2749/04) Supreme Court, Kings County, and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice (Index 2146/03)****Supreme Court, Kings County.
The Perecman Firm serves Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Upstate NY, Morris County, and Rockland County.
**later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million
*** later settled for $3.5 million
**** total potential payout