A man from Bronson hasn't said much about what might be a landmark lawsuit against his former employer. Now he's talking. John Mikell is an Independent Contractor who blames the old Energizer factory in Alachua for his battle with kidney cancer. John Mikell was hired to do a job for the company. Little did he know, the experience would change his life forever.
He was hired to build the pallets they use to ship batteries, and to haul off the old pallets. Seven months into doing this, Mikell was told that the pallets had cadmium dust on them.
It was more than a year ago that John Mikell was told he had six months to live. Mikell may have survived his doctor's prognosis, but that doesn't mean he's in the clear. He has stage four kidney cancer, and has already had one kidney removed.
He says he was in great health before working for Energizer in 1999. Mikell says doctors told him there's a direct link between cadmium and cancer. He says that's when he knew the cancer was a result of the job.
He says he handled pallets that were covered in a cancerous chemical, and blames Energizer for not telling him he should have been wearing protective gear.
"I didn't realize anything was out of order. No one said anything about it," says Mikell.
Shortly after discussing the situation with the factory manager, Mikell says his contract wasn't renewed. He's suing for failure to notify him of the dangers of the dust and not providing him with any protective gear. Mikell's lawyers say this is the reason for his lung and kidney cancer.
Fifty-year-old Mikell says for right now, he's praying for another ten years. Energizer employees say they didn't feel comfortable commenting on this lawsuit.
By Thalia Hayden, WCJB TV20 News.
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