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Forum News Service, Published July 04 2013

Hospital workers say error led to higher levels of radiation exposure

HUDSON, Wis. - Claiming they have been exposed to excess radiation, four Hudson Hospital & Clinics technologists have filed a lawsuit against the architectural firm that designed the hospital and the construction company that built it 10 years ago.

The computed tomography, or CT, technicians say quarter-inch plate glass rather than lead-shielded glass was installed in the windows between the scanning and control rooms, thus exposing the workers to more than 20 times the usual radiation.

The technologists’ attorney, Chuck Bye of River Falls, said the problem was identified more than a year ago when the hospital bought a new CT scanner. As part of the installation process, the hospital brought in a physicist to check for radiation.

“It was corrected as soon as it was discovered,” Bye said. “Hudson Hospital has been cooperative, and there is no claim that they did anything wrong.”

The defendants named in the civil lawsuit are Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis; Hammel, Green and Abrahamson, a Minneapolis architectural and design firm; and Hammes Co. of Brookfield, the company that oversaw and managed construction of the facility.

A Hammel, Green and Abrahamson representative did not immediately respond to a message left for comment. A person from Mortenson Construction’s corporate communications department did return a call but was unable to provide an immediate response.