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Some workers may get free medical exam

Some coal preparation plant and water treatment plant workers in West Virginia and coal preparation plant workers in Pennsylvania are entitled to a free medical examination under terms of a class action lawsuit settlement, according to lawyers involved in the case.

The lawsuit focused on the use of polyacrylamide, a type of water-treatment chemical often called "flocculent" or "floc," used to separate solids from liquids.

The lawsuit claims the chemical is toxic and that workers exposed to it have a higher risk of getting serious diseases. The defendants, manufacturers and distributors of the chemical, deny those claims and that they did anything wrong.

"Both sides have agreed to settle the case to avoid the cost and burdens associated with ongoing litigation," the plaintiff and defense lawyers said in a joint press release.

Anyone who worked at a coal preparation plant or water treatment plant in West Virginia or a coal preparation plant in Pennsylvania where the chemical was used is included in the settlement as a class member. Class members must file a claim form to get a medical examination.

Forms are available online at or by calling 1-877-738-3562. The deadline to submit a claim form has not yet been set by the court but may be as early as March 1, 2014.


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