The U.S. Department of Labor is re-evaluating previously denied claims and more than half will now be granted and either workers, surviving spouses or the workers children or grandchildren will now be receiving compensation.
Since 196 cases were first denied, the matrix of data used to determine the validity of claims has recently been revised and at least 100 of the cases will now fall within the criteria of those resulting in compesation payments.
Here is the technical document detailing the denial reversals:
This new information not only affects the previously denied claims, but also could make future claims more likely to qualify for compensation payouts.
Here is the document detailing the new data used to determine claim validity:
Claims are based on former workers or household family members who may have been diagnosed with a number of cancers. During the 1950s and 1960s, radioactive materials were used at the plants and proper safety precautions were not in place. Also, there may have been inhalation of radioactive dust or materials during years subsequent to their use.
Claims can be made by former workers, or if they are deceased, by their surviving spouse, or in the event the spouse is also deceased, by the worker's surviving children. If there are no surviving children, even the worker's grandchildren are able to file the claims.
More than $30 million have been paid to claimants connected to the two industrial sites in the Tri-City area. As of now, there is no cutoff date for claims, but the sooner claims are filed the better.
Claimants could be eligible for as much as $150,000, which would be divided if there are multiple claimants. For example, if two surviving children are joint claimants, they each would receive $75,000.
Dr. Daniel McKeel has been speerheading the research and investigation to get workers at both the General Steel Industries (formerly the Commonwealth) and Down Chemical in Madison (later know as Conalco and Spectrulite Consortium). Working closely with Dr. McKeel has been John Ramspott, whose father-in-law worked at GSI.
Here is a press release about the claim criteria expansion:
If you or a family member or a friend worked at either or both of these plants, please pass along this information so they may get informed about the claims process. Compensation is only given to those who take the time to file a claim. For more than 100 previous claimants, who thought their claim denial was the end, their claims now qualify for compensation.
Read below for more details, information and where to make a claim.
Compensation program for workers of Commonwealth and Dow Chem.
If you, your father or grandfather ever worked at the Commonwealth (GSI) or at Dow Chemical (later operated as CONALCO and Spectrulite), you need to read this information.
Various radioactive materials were used at both sites and workers from both have been found to have died of cancer as a result of exposure. Even if your family members didn't directly work with the radioactive materials, they still may have been exposed through secondary contact or inhalation of airborne particles.
This Department of Labor website is the place to start your inquiry. There are many resources available, including claim forms and the claim process. The EEOICP has already paid out more than $10 billion in settlements from across the U.S., which includes more than $11 million to Commonwealth claimants and more than $21 million to Dow Chemical claimants.
The requirements to file a claim are numerous, but if the worker is deceased, their spouse or children or grandchildren may be eligible to make a claim based on which family members are still alive.
It is worth your time to go to the above Dept. of Labor website and investigate your particular situation. You could be eligible for as much as $150,000 and, if any spouse, children or grandchildren have been diagnosed with cancer, they could also be eligible for medial expenses.
Here are two brochures that may be of assistance.
There was an informational meeting on Monday, May 12, 2014, in Granite City on the status of the compensation program. Here is the slide show used at the meeting.
The meeting was led by Dr. Daniel McKeel of the Southern Illinois Nuclear Energy Workers (SINEW). Another speaker was John Ramspott, also of SINEW.
The office in charge of the local compensation program, and your first point of contact with any questions or concerns is:
Paducah Resource Center
Office Manager Alison Gill
Barkley Center, Unit 125
125 Memorial Drive
Paducah, KY 42001
Telephone: (270) 534-0599
Fax: (270) 534-8723
Toll Free: (866) 534-0599
If you want to read detailed background information on the research that led to the compensation programs for workers of Dow Chemical in Madison and the Commonwealth (GSI) on State Street, here are two resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: