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OT Cascade surplus being sued for mercury poisoning.

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  • OT Cascade surplus being sued for mercury poisoning.

    Unfortunately no projects from me this time, though this might be of interest to readers. And it somewhat relates to my little welder thread.

    Some moron is suing about 20 companies blaming them for him getting mercury poisoning from vacuum tubes. One of the defendants being a local surplus store, Cascade Surplus, who has no record of ever selling tubes to him! Here is a link to his little sub-page about it.

    This is going to pretty much put him under as he has always been on the brink. There are links to the original documents as well. http://www.cascadesurplus.com/lawsuit/

    I know this is not related to machining, but people need to know how precarious some of out sources of goodies are positioned.

    -Jerry

  • #2
    Originally posted by macona
    Unfortunately no projects from me this time, though this might be of interest to readers. And it somewhat relates to my little welder thread.

    Some moron is suing about 20 companies blaming them for him getting mercury poisoning from vacuum tubes. One of the defendants being a local surplus store, Cascade Surplus, who has no record of ever selling tubes to him! Here is a link to his little sub-page about it.

    This is going to pretty much put him under as he has always been on the brink. There are links to the original documents as well. http://www.cascadesurplus.com/lawsuit/

    I know this is not related to machining, but people need to know how precarious some of out sources of goodies are positioned.

    -Jerry
    Look like someone is out to make a quick dollar at the cost of businesses going under due to no fault of theirs.
    Michael

    Comment


    • #3
      Home cooking from the land of litigation. Amen.

      Regards Ian.
      You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

      Comment


      • #4
        It's a sad fact that in this country anybody can be sued by anyone for any reason even if there is no case.It still costs money to defend against these suits and it's long past time to end the practice.
        I just need one more tool,just one!

        Comment


        • #5
          Sad. Considering the difficulty of getting mercury poisoning these days... (What did he do, EAT vacuum tubes?) Just sounds like BS to me.

          My heart goes out to the surplus company. The prices on the 2 order forms on that page look really nice. ($3 for a 1000uf 200v cap? Nice)

          Bet this same guy is complaining that he can't find work and all the businesses have left the USA for some totally unknown reason...

          Seems others are complaining about him as well:
          http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=416248

          You can contact him and voice your feelings btw:
          http://hotglassaudio.com/contact.htm
          Phone: (724) 228-3237
          [email protected]
          Appears to be the company (And person) named on the order forms...

          According to what I can gather from forum posts, around 2006 it was a legit respected company. by 2009 people where complaining about items in repair for months and unable to contact him. Sometime around then he claimed to have illnesses. One claimed to be from 'soldering' (Again, did he EAT the solder?) Unless your using large molten pools of solder (wave reflow, solder pots) the lead fumes are simply not enough to be a hazard
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

          Comment


          • #6
            I was in the lumber buisness & lawyers were holding seminars on class action lawsuits. They would buy 1 condo or tract house & tear it apart to find anything wrong, mold,chemicals, etc,etc. Then start a class action lawsuit against anyone that had anything to do with the job, suppiers, contractors, tradesmen,delivery people,etc. Our insurance company fought the 1st 28 cases & lost so now it's automatic they settle. Very sad state of affairs in our country. Very sad.
            "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
            world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
            country, in easy stages."
            ~ James Madison

            Comment


            • #7
              From a review of the court docket, it would appear that the majority of those defendants have already been voluntarily dismissed from the suit. Cascade, however, does not appear with counsel, so it looks like he's still in the soup.
              Wayne

              Comment


              • #8
                Most, if not all, of the tubes listed have no mercury in them at all. This is a broad based gold digging operation, and some of the defendants have big bucks to fight back with. I think Cascade can probably wait this out to a large extent while the big guys beat up the ambulance chasers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wierdscience
                  It's a sad fact that in this country anybody can be sued by anyone for any reason even if there is no case.It still costs money to defend against these suits and it's long past time to end the practice.
                  I'm happy that we have a system where there is no case without evidence, so no court for nothing. Though, one person can sue another in case of a fight (contract related things), but if the sued one sends one letter saying he/she is against it, the suer (sorry, don't know the proper terms) has to come out with evidence or the case is dismissed.
                  Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ???

                    It costs $5000 to hire a lawyer and $50 to hire a crack head with a baseball bat ?

                    No contest.
                    .

                    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, it sure knocks on the head the older practice by some businesses of just replying "so sue me and see how you get on". It pretty well stopped any complaint - whether legitimate or not - in its tracks as the company could either sue the complainant or defend the case and see him "go under" by "out-gunning" him (more money) by a process of attrition sending him broke with legal and court costs causing the complainant to withdraw such that the case never got to resolution.

                      Read this and weep (shudder?).

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_tort
                      Last edited by oldtiffie; 04-18-2012, 07:58 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Optics Curmudgeon
                        Most, if not all, of the tubes listed have no mercury in them at all.
                        Actually, I looked up the four most frequently listed part numbers on wikipedias list of vacuum tubes and all were "mercury rectifiers". The 6BQ5 is doubtful. Mercury rectifiers contain two or three orders of magnitude more mercury than a compact fluorescent. But generally less than a thermometer.

                        Kinda hard to argue that you weren't notified of hazards when they put "mercury" in the name. Not in the period 2001-2009. Who is liable for workplace exposure? Your employer, i.e. the plaintiff himself.

                        The "mercury vapor" appears multiple times in one of the defendent's product technical datasheet for one of the tubes named:
                        http://www.ronnierice.com/ebay/83%20...ube/rca_83.pdf
                        MSDS for one of the vacuum tubes in the suit (MSDS by one of the defendants is 13 years older than start of period covered by suit):
                        http://www.setonresourcecenter.com/m...4/CDGNV.HTMile it is operating or still hot.

                        The mercury is contained inside a vacuum tight glass tube and poses no hazard unless broken. On one forum, a poster mentioned that the plaintiff had return shipped him an amplifier improperly packed resulting in broken tubes. It is likely that some inbound shipments also resulted in broken tubes - but he isn't suing his customers, the shipping companies, or the manufacturers of the gear. The danger is much higher if you break a tube when hot.

                        Evaluation of risk from mercury tube breakage:
                        http://www.clarisonus.com/blog/?p=233
                        Immediate risk from breakage is low but there is some risk of cumulatiive exposure if you fail to properly clean up any spills that result from mishandling.

                        One of the things you should know if you work in electronics is that just about every component, material, chemical, and process used is hazardous to some degree.
                        This book lists about 350 hazardous chemicals used in electronics:
                        http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-Com...4789069&sr=1-5

                        Cascade says that to the best of their knowledge, plaintiff didn't order any vacuum tubes from them. However, 10 NE-2 bulbs were ordered ($3.50 total). These are basically vacuum tubes filled with rarified neon gas. These do not appear to contain mercury. Plaintiff seems to have been complaining of health problems related to the suit since before this purchase was made.

                        Plaintiff claims he has not been exposed to mercury from any other source. No one can make that claim. And this guy was reportedly a 2-pack a day smoker (a significant mercury source) when he was 21. And living in pennsylvania, he would be near coal power plants. And he didn't use any fluorescent bulbs or eat any fish? Never had an amalgam filling?

                        Plaintiff has sold equipment which contains tubes to the general public which would seem to make him as guilty as the resellers he is suing of the same misconduct he accuses them of.

                        Dissing mercury rectifiers:
                        http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/t.mpl?f=DIYHiFi&m=572
                        http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes...rectifier.html
                        http://www.clarisonus.com/blog/?p=230

                        It has been suggested that the following 2005 post was made by the plaintiff:
                        This time, extensive testing was done. All was normal, including heavy metal testing for Lead, Mercury, Thallium, Arsenic, Cadmium, and Chromium. Heavy Metals were not the cause for this problem. I then stabilized and was released, feeling worse than ever.
                        http://www.healthboards.com/boards/l...ml#post1679466
                        This would invalidate the case for the period of 2001-2005 on the basis of negative test results and the case from 2005-2009 on the basis of pre-existing condition and that the plaintiff should have been made very aware of the risks of heavy metal exposure.

                        It has been said that US tube manufacturers stopped making these tubes in the 1970s because there were less hazardous, more reliable, better performing, and environmentally better alternatives. Furthermore, small tubes in general, and these mercury rectifiers in particular, were unsuitable for new designs except those aimed at the lunatic fringe market. There were even xenon tube drop in replacements that mimicked the blue glow.
                        So this guy is suing the manufacturers for harm allegedly caused by products they discontinued 30 years earlier, in part for safety reasons. They discontinued the parts he chose to continue using obsolete used or new old stock parts that don't meet modern safety standards to rebuild obsolete equipment long after its normal useful life had expired. He is suing them for unsafe parts he chose to use long after the manufacturer chose to stop - when safer alternatives existed. Parts that were primarily sold to original equipment manufacturers who were responsible for the safety of their designs, to consumers as spare parts for products by those OEMs, and to qualified
                        technician/hobbyists for use in their homebrew projrcts? Parts that clearly announced their hazardous ingredient in their title?

                        Would you sue Ford because you were injured in an accident in your restored century old Model-T that didn't meet modern crash safety standards? Or because your 20 year old ford didn't have airbags? Would you sue Thomas Jefferson's heirs because the Pavilion I balcony he designed and built circa 1820 collapsed in 1997 killing 1 and injuring 16 during graduation? 177 years later? Or those responsible for its maintenance? Should I sue Seneca Falls if the chuck on the lathe they made in 1888 unscrews if I reverse the spindle motor? If you buy obsolete original parts or parts made to the original spec for obsolete equipment do you sue the parts supplier who is helping you in your preservation efforts by providing these parts? This guy would have been out of business if those suppliers he was suing had refused to sell him those parts. Do you sue the makers of lead paint for an injury resulting from your post ban use of lead paint to paint your house - when you painted your house 30 years after the ban?

                        At what point have you gone beyond normal repair during the normal life of the product and into necrophilia? Plenty of us here use, repair, and/or restore old equipment. We assume the risks inherent in doing so.

                        PA doesn't seem to have a statute of limitations on time since manufacture/purchase but it does have a 2 year limitation after the injury has occurred (not when it was discovered).
                        So defendants are only liable for injuries incurred during the last three days before the condition was diagnosed.

                        There have been threads here about companies destroying their old equipment rather than making it available surplus due to liability concerns.

                        Given the age distribution on this forum, I would venture that a lot of us have been exposed to a lot more mercury than you would get from the occasional broken tube. I have worked in facilities where the mercury equivalent of 18,000 of these tubes was spilled (and you could see the stains on the carpet where entrapped mercury later leaked out of the equipment).


                        Check status on case:
                        http://dockets.justia.com/docket/pen...v00666/197202/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Metallic mercury pretty much just passes through your system. In one end, out the other.

                          Its the compounds that kill you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Maybe Cascade Surplus should take this issue to the local news outlets if they want to raise a big stink about it for minimal cost.
                            Or set up a defense fund website. That's what people do these days.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Some who have removed lead-based paints from old machines or worked on older structural steel with red or white lead-based paints might liketo think about it and be more careful - particularly if heat or abrasive processes are applied/used.

                              Same applies to older houses.



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