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FEMA Seeks Immunity From Suits Over Trailer Fumes

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FEMA Seeks Immunity From Suits Over Trailer Fumes
The Federal Emergency Management Agency asked a federal judge Wednesday for immunity from lawsuits over potentially dangerous fumes in government-issued trailers that have housed tens of thousands of Gulf Coast hurricane victims. Lawyers for victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita accuse FEMA of negligence for sheltering them in trailers with elevated levels of formaldehyde, a preservative used in construction materials that can cause health problems.

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CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I feel like its darned if you do darned if you dont. I am Certified under FEMA to assist in disaster relief, and I believe the problems with those trailors should be taken up with the manufacterers.
syako syako 9 years
britney spears :shrug:
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Sorry if I misread you, then. I can't disagree with the overall lack of dedication in the workforce! I agree, the federal government is not quick to respond to anything. They're a very slow and deliberate organization. Thanks for the reference, you're a good researcher. It sounds like this was a previously-unknown problem. That doesn't excuse the slow response, they should have at least tested within a month or so. It appears to me as though the Katrina trailers were actually what brought this issue to light, since there were no previous standards. Kind of makes me wonder what else we're exposed to on a regular basis that no one has yet realized is toxic. :ponder:
stephley stephley 9 years
Laine, I wasn't singling out government workers - I was saying that everywhere, including in the government, there are people who don't take pride in their work. I was 'generalizing' about workers everywhere. FEMA says its first complaints about the trailers making people sick came in early 2006 but it left people living in them, so you don't need a back room deal to show FEMA's at fault. FEMA knew it had people living in unsafe trailers and did nothing. If FEMA wants to go after the manufacturers, that's fine. But getting people out of dangerous trailers was up to FEMA. They didn't even start testing the trailers until December 2007 - a full year after the first complaints. That's FEMA, not the manufacturer. You might like this article from "Companies that make recreational vehicles should not be blamed for high levels of formaldehyde in FEMA trailers, according to a report by House Republicans. The analysis instead points the finger at the federal government for not having standards for safe levels of formaldehyde before Hurricane Katrina victims lived in the trailers." No one takes responsiblity for what they do or what they make.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
That sounds like the logic of lawyers looking for deep pockets to sue. FEMA is actually also a victim in this, assuming they purchased or accepted those trailers in good faith. Show me a sign that they knew the trailers could be health hazards, or negotiated some backroom deal to get a cut price on substandard goods, and I'll say "Hang the SOBs!" Otherwise, there's nothing to indicate government malfeasance. Generalizing about government workers is beneath you, Stephley. Sure, there are slackers, but there are also folks who work for lower wages than they could get in the private sector because they choose to work for the public interest.
stephley stephley 9 years
"The hand that feeds you" is our, their, government and the money it uses to feed them, or poison them, comes from our, their taxes. Taking care of them is US taking care of OUR own. And holding OUR government accountable for its action, or lack there of, is perfectly reasonable. And suing the manufacturers as well is okay with me too. Sadly, people - including those who run our government agencies - don't seem to take pride in their work or a job well done so it is necessary to prod them.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Great Sommelier: I don't disagree with you, but on the other hand, if these people hadn't been offered an option which they had every right to assume was safe, they might have found a better (in the long run) alternative.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
I have an opinion on this matter and it sounds heartless to most, especially a few of you here, but what the hey. Where else would they have gone? Would they sue God over the mosquitoes when they were living in the swamps? I think it is awful about the conditions of the trailers, but sheesh, they were free. I personally know several evacuees who lost everything and have relocated here in Texas. They haven't accepted a cent from the government. They aren't rich by any means, but they took care of their own. They got out. They had insurance. They cut their losses and relocated. They have absolutely no intention on going back to a place where this will likely happen again at some point. I am all for helping others. I am ALL for private charities. But the absolute demand for assistance, and then suing the gov. for it, that is just biting the hand that feeds you. And like I said before, it sucks the trailers were bad, but what would their alternative have been?
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I keep hearing FEMA mentioned in these stories, and I don't absolve them of some responsibility, but who's the manufacturer? It seems to me that's the real offender.
stephley stephley 9 years
And it wasn't one or two complaints in early 2006 - MSNBC was already reporting on tests done on the trailers by then: "Air quality tests of 44 FEMA trailers conducted by the Sierra Club since April have found formaldehyde concentrations as high as 0.34 parts per million – a level nearly equal to what a professional embalmer would be exposed to on the job, according to one study of the chemical’s workplace effects."
stephley stephley 9 years
Personal responsibility and professional standards just don't exist any more.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
On what grounds...?
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