Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Inmates File Suit After Coating Project

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Comment | More

Several hundred inmates at the Santa Fe County Jail allege that renovation activities conducted in 2014 led to an “epidemic of severe ailments.”

The inmates filed a lawsuit March 11 in District Court, seeking class action status, against Industrial Commercial Coatings of Albuquerque (the coatings contractor who performed the work), Santa Fe County and the jail's former warden, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

county jail
© / Gabriele Maltinti

Between 300 and 500 inmates and three jail employees allegedly suffered from painful and serious ailments during and following the renovation activities.

A copy of the lawsuit was not immediately available Monday (April 4) for review.

The Rothstein, Donatelli, Hughes, Dahlstrom, Schoenburg & Bienvenu law firm represents the proposed class in the case.

Health Problems Alleged

The inmates involved in the suit allege that renovations to the jail’s showers and restrooms resulted in ongoing exposure to harmful quantities of dust and chemical fumes, which caused a plethora of painful and serious conditions, the report says, citing the complaint.

Blurred vision, body rashes, chronic nosebleeds, diarrhea and vomiting were among the conditions listed in the suit.

These ailments, affecting between 300 and 500 inmates and three jail employees, were said to have persisted long after the project was complete.

Sealant Work at Issue

According to the Albuquerque Journal, citing the complaint, ICC was hired to apply a “highly toxic chemical sealant containing isocyanate to approximately 28,880 square feet that included 51 showers and space for lavatories.”

The suit alleges that workers applied the sealant in a “hapless and reckless” fashion, ignoring safety protocols and exposing inmates to hazardous conditions for months.

For example, during the first stage of the project, grinding work allegedly resulted in cement, paint, metal and polyurea sealant coming in contact with inmates’ food and bedding, the report related. During sealant application, the inmates were allegedly exposed to toxic fumes pumped through the facility’s heating and cooling system.

jail showers
© / Justin Horrocks

The renovation activities allegedly involved sealing about 28,880 square feet that included 51 showers and space for lavatories, the suit said. The image above does not depict the jail in this case.

The lawsuit further claims that inmates who were appointed to a crew to assist with the renovation project weren’t provided personal protective gear, when employees working for ICC were wearing hooded suits with respirators and face masks to perform the tasks, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Sante Fe County officials told the newspaper they would not comment on the pending litigation.

About the Coatings Contractor

ICC did not respond Monday to a request for comment on the case.

According to the company’s website, it specializes in the application of commercial and industrial coatings, high-performance linings, concrete repair and restoration and infrastructure rehabilitation throughout New Mexico. Founded in 1994, the company has more than 20 employees, the website notes.


Tagged categories: Building owners; Coating chemistry; Construction chemicals; Facility Managers; Isocyanate; Laws and litigation; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Renovation; Sealant

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

ABKaelin, LLC

DeFelsko Corporation

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.

Modern Safety Techniques

Sauereisen, Inc.

SAFE Systems, Inc.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America

NLB Corporation


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us