Transcript - Wishard Hospital's Krannet Institute Being Sued - WRTV-6 News - January 21, 1997

WRTV 6 News

January 21, 1997


Narrator: Live, local, leg breaking this WRTV 6 News.

Clyde Lee: A hospital’s mission is to cure the sick but now former employees of Wishard Hospital’s Krannert Institute claimed that the facility actually made them sick and that’s tonight’s big story. Good Evening, I’m Clyde Lee.

Diana Willis: Well the group has filed a class action against Wishard alleging that the hospital put employees at risk by exposing them to dangerous chemicals. Cullen Browder spoke tonight with some of those employees as well as their families and Collen joins us now with details.

Cullen Browder: Yeah, we’re specifically talking about former and current employees of the Krannert Institute of Cardiology which is owned and operated by Wishard. So far ten people have joined this lawsuit. They say it’s a case of sick building syndrome that caused them serious health problems and they believe Wishard was negligent in letting it happen.

Narrator: Deborah Courtney, Michael Klug, and Erna Martin all worked at Krannert. All say the building and toxins in their work environment left them sick.

Erna Martin: I have nodules in my lungs, nodules in my liver, nodules in my adrenal glands.

Michael Klug: I was on a career trek to be a physician scientist and was one of the top students at the medical center and this has really disrupted everything.

Deborah Courtney: And slowly within months time I started to go downhill. I started getting sick a lot. I started missing work.

Narrator: In fact, the class action suit claims that as a result of working at Krannert plaintiffs and numerous other persons have experienced sick building syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, death, cancer, leukemia, chronic fatigue syndrome and a myriad of other ailments. Plaintiffs say while working at Krannert they often smelled harsh chemicals wafting through the air and discovered heavy mold growing in air vents. Chicago attorney Ken Moll to handle the case.

Attorney Ken Moll: This is a building where the occupants were using highly toxic chemicals. Hundreds of thousands of chemicals, either one of which could be highly toxic.

Narrator: Lawsuit states quote, “as a result of the improper ventilation thousands of persons present on the defendant’s premises were exposed to excessively high concentrations of various chemical, biological & fungal contaminants.” Plus, the plaintiffs maintain they resorted to the lawsuit only after Wishard wouldn’t listen.

Erna Martin: They lied, they told us everything was alright and that’s not what we were seeing and that’s not what we were getting results from.

Cullen Browder: Wishard hospital attorneys did not have a chance to review the claims and they chose not to comment tonight and since this is a class action suit, the plaintiffs are hoping more people who believe they are sick because of Krannert will come forward. And while Krannert remains open as usual, attorneys believe that the ventilation system has been approved.

Diana Willis: A lot of people feeling systems but one person might even have died you mention.

Cullen Browder: Yes, the attorneys told us tonight that one person has died of leukemia. They believe may be related but in a case like this it’s really up to the plaintiffs to prove this in court, that’s a very difficult job.

Diana Willis: Thanks, Colin.