Tennessee mother planning to sue EPA over son's paint remover death

November 20, 2018


A Tennessee mother is taking steps to sue the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming the agency failed to finalize a ban on a chemical that took the life of her 21 year old son in 2017. Wendy Hartley, of Nashville, has joined several other parties and has submitted a notice of intent to file a lawsuit vs the EPA. The group's goal is to force the agency to ban methylene chloride.


Methylene chloride is found in many paint remover products. The chemical has been responsible dozens of deaths for decades.


Hartley's son, Kevin, was just getting started in a new career refinishing bathtubs. On the fateful day in 2017, Kevin was refinishing a tub with White Lightning Low Odor Stripper. That product, as well as dozens of other similar products, contains methylene chloride. Despite wearing a respirator mask, Kevin succumbed to the fumes. His mother said the first she had even heard of methylene chloride was when she saw it on her son’s death certificate.


Wendy Hartley said in a March editorial in The Tennessean newspaper, "Americans care about protecting their families from toxic chemicals. It’s long past time to ban methylene chloride in paint stripping products — and set up a strong system to protect the public from other dangerous chemicals.Labels and warnings are fine, but products with chemicals that can easily kill people or cause serious health problems have no place on store shelves." Read it here.


At the law offices of T. Verner Smith, we represent clients who have suffered personal injury due to the negligence of another. These types of lawsuits not only provide necessary compensation for those who were wrongfully hurt in an accident, but also creates an environment of caution leading to higher safety standards for all. Contact us for a free consultation at (731) 423-1888, (901) 730-4567, or (615) 371-6136.



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