Methodist Medical Center says it will ‘vigorously’ refute allegations
Note: This story was last updated at 3:38 p.m.
Five lawsuits filed in Anderson County on Monday allege that X-ray and radiologic technologists, including two who were pregnant, were exposed to excess radiation for several years at Methodist Medical Center because some walls in and around a radiology imaging center in the new emergency department were built without the required lead shielding, elevating the workers’ risk of health problems, including cancer.
The five lawsuits allege the walls in the emergency department, which opened in February 2006 as part of a hospital remodel, did not have the required protective radiological shielding because of building, design, and inspection errors.
Lead-lined walls are required in radiological areas to limit radiation exposure under local and federal regulations and construction and health standards, the lawsuits say.
But the defendants—Covenant Health of Knoxville, Rentenbach Engineering Co. of Knoxville, and TEG Architects LLC of Jeffersonville, Ind.—failed to have qualified personnel survey or check the installation and construction parameters, or conduct proper barrier determinations for lead barrier thickness, to ensure that the walls in the radiological areas would adequately reduce scatter and leakage radiation, the lawsuits say. The defendants also failed to have qualified personnel certify that the MMC in-department imaging center and nearby areas were built in compliance with all applicable regulations and guidelines so that the plaintiffs “would only be exposed to levels of radiation that were as low as reasonably achievable, all before allowing work to be done at that facility.” [Read more…]