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Chemical concoction in urinals allegedly injures man

By Michelle Massey | Jun 11, 2010

NEW ORLEANS (Legal Newsline) - An Orleans Parish man is suing the federal government for injuries he says he suffered because of chemicals used to clean a public restroom.

Melvin and Deborah Collins filed suit against Larry Plaisnce and the United States of America on May 25 in federal court.

According to court records, Melvin Collins went to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Engineering Division Building Sept. 14, 2007. He says while he was in the restroom, an employee came into the restroom and poured a cleaning solution into the urinals.

Collins claims the cleaning solution was a concoction of highly toxic ingredients the federal employee, Larry Plaisnce, created at home.

Collins says Plaisnce "recklessly, carelessly and negligently" exposed him to these chemicals.

The plaintiffs accuse Plaisnce of negligence for failing to inspect the restroom for people before using the chemical concoction, failing to warn anyone in the restroom of his intent to use the concoction and failing to get approval or test the chemicals.

The lawsuit is seeking damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical expenses, loss of consortium, interest and court costs.

New Orleans attorney Darryl Harrison is representing the Collins.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey is assigned to the case.

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