Lawsuit demands
mandatory cholinesterase testing

Virginia Hamilton, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries requesting that the Thurston County Superior Court order the department to enact a mandatory rule for cholinesterase medical monitoring for agricultural workers exposed to pesticides. The class-action suit brought on behalf of all agricultural workers claims that, in not enacting this rule, the department has violated the Administrative Procedure Act, the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA), the Equal Protection Clauses of the state and federal constitutions, as well as various civil rights statutes.

The case has been set for trial before Judge Richard A. Strophy in Thurston County Superior Court in June 1998. The class of farmworkers is represented by attorneys from Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, Columbia Legal Services, and the Seattle firm of Heller, Ehrman, White, and McAuliffe. Labor and Industries is represented by the attorney general's office. Labor and Industries is disputing all claims made by the plaintiffs, and is currently preparing for the June trial.

Return to title page April 1998 Agrichemical and Environmental News