AT&T and Verizon Telecommunication Cable Lead Exposure Lawsuit
Verizon, AT&T, and predecessor Pacific Bell Telephone may have abandoned a huge network of obsolete phone and telecommunications lines comprised of lead-sheathed cables. Utility workers who worked with or near lead-covered phone cables may have been exposed to high levels of lead contamination coming from these abandoned cables.
AT&T, Verizon, Pacific Bell Telephone companies may be facing numerous lawsuits filed by workers who developed elevated blood levels and lead-related illnesses. These workers or their families may be eligible for compensation.
Contaminated Lead Phone Line Network Left Abandoned
As companies like Verizon, AT&T and predecessor Pacific Bell Telephone developed new technologies for telecommunications, old systems were discontinued. Many of these networks constructed of lead-sheathed cables were simply abandoned rather than removed. This may have left a huge network of toxic cables in the ground, overhead and under water.
Utility workers may have been exposed to close contact with high levels of lead when required to work directly with or near the cables, in some cases unaware of the dangers. AT&T, Pacific Bell Telephone and Verizon may have known about the dangers but failed to warn workers or officials of the potential for lead contamination. This may have increased utility workers’ risk for lead-born illnesses, some of which may be serious and may have prevented workers from seeking appropriate treatment.
Dangers of Lead Exposure
For many years, the dangers of exposure to high levels of lead have been known. The telecommunications industry’s abandonment of dangerous, lead-covered phone cables may have exposed workers to toxic lead and left them with an increased risk of serious illness.
Exposure to toxic amounts of lead may cause symptoms of chronic lead-related illness:
- Memory problems
- Tingling in hands or feet
- Loss of coordination
- Trouble sleeping
- Abdominal and digestive disorders
- Muscle or joint pain
- Pale skin discoloration
- Bluish black gums
- Infertility in both men and women
- Miscarriage or premature birth
Utility workers forced to work directly with lead-lined phone cables may have been unaware of the risk. Others may have worked near the lines and not known of the dangers. This may have left them exposed to serious lead-related illnesses over long periods of time, without treatment.
Soil and Water Testing Shows Lead May Have Contaminated Environment
Soil and water testing has shown that lead may have leached from the phone lines abandoned by telecommunications companies like AT&T and Verizon. This may have exposed not only workers who worked with the phone lines, but also utility workers simply operating near the lines. Many of these workers were unaware of the risks and may have been left without treatment for decades.
Lead Exposure Risk May Have Been Hidden from Utility Workers and Public
AT&T, Verizon, and Pacific Bell Telephone have been accused of failing to address lead contamination in violation of California and federal law. The company may have failed to mitigate health risks to utility workers who work with or near contaminated phone cables and have not made adequate efforts to dispose of cables or monitor the environment for lead exposure in soil, air, and water runoff.
Telecom Companies Facing Lead Contamination Lawsuits
AT&T, Verizon, and Pacific Bell Telephone have been accused of knowing about the risks of lead contamination in their abandoned phone lines and failing to act. They are already facing investor lawsuits for failing to disclose the risks but may also be facing numerous injury lawsuits over lead-borne illnesses in utility workers.
Utility workers who worked with or near lead-lined telecommunications cables owned by Verizon, Pacific Bell Telephone or AT&T may be eligible for compensation.