Woman files lawsuit against city over perfumes, lotion - KCTV5

Woman files lawsuit against city over perfumes, lotion

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A City of Portland employee is filing a lawsuit alleging managers at the city's Bureau of Maintenance didn't correct problems when she told them she suffered from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, which is triggered by perfumes and hand lotion.

The lawsuit says the scent-bearing products worn by her co-workers trigger allergic reactions for the woman, such as breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, tightness in her chest, headaches, sneezing, watery eyes, nausea and vomiting.

At least once, the scents caused her to go into "anaphylaxis," requiring a trip to the emergency room, the complaint says.

The woman reports she made several requests to her supervisor and the city, including one  asking for signage on the door and in her workspace saying it's a "fragrance free zone," an installation of a fan to direct fragrances away from her work area and awareness training for co-workers and other employees.

The lawsuit says the city didn't address those concerns. And in March 2012, the complaint says city representatives told her she was suffering from nothing more than allergic symptoms and that she didn't have a disability.

As an alternative, the city said the worker could move desks, but the lawsuit says that wasn't an adequate solution, and that she still is exposed to one particular employee's perfume.

The woman estimates she will seek $50,000 in the lawsuit, but the exact amount will be determined at trial, according to the complaint.

City officials have not issued a statement on the lawsuit.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved.

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