Federal lawsuit filed over unsafe lead levels and asbestos in Scranton School District


SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) A federal lawsuit has been filed against the Scranton School District.

The plaintiffs? William Prescott Elementary School Principal Albert O’donnell, a reading teacher at Northeastern Intermediate School, Rebecca O’Brien and George Gevaras, a district maintenance employee who retired in 2017.

“There needed to be some type of action taken in response to the Guzek Associates report.” Said , attorney Patrick Howard.

Patrick Howard is representing the district employees plus “all others similarly situated,”
in the lawsuit. It lists the district’s knowledge of asbestos and lead in schools from its published reports.

“The problem with asbestos exposure is you do not know the long term, sometimes not for 40 years. Then, with lead I mean the lead’s different from adults and children have a much higher impact.”

In the lawsuit, 15 current and former board directors between 2016-2019 are listed as defendants.

“In 2016 there were forms of notice given to these people and then in 2017 and 2018 as we lay out in the complaint that literally someone should have done something.” Patrick added.

“I hope something happens. I mean it’s not right. These kids are supposed to be safe at school not, you know, having something happen to them medically.” Said Marissa Davies, a parent.

Marissa says her 7-year-old first grader has an appointment this week to get tested for lead that was confirmed inside Prescott Elementary School.

The class action suit is looking for an annual medical monitoring and an establishment of a fund for financial expenses.

“I’m sure some people don’t have the money, you know, to get their kids you know tested.” Marissa added.

“Allow people to go to their doctors or specialist and not have to pay out of pocket one dollar.” Patrick explained.

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