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Terminal Cancer Patient Sues Bullseye Glass In Portland


Bullseye Glass in Southeast Portland.

Bullseye Glass in Southeast Portland.

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

A woman who works in Portland has sued Bullseye Glass, alleging the art glass maker directly caused her terminal lung cancer.  

In the lawsuit, 63-year-old Valerie Silva and her husband, Richard Silva, said she never smoked or used tobacco products, but a doctor diagnosed her with stage IV cancer in both her lungs in 2014.  

Silva, who has two children and four grandchildren, has worked at Fred Meyer across the street from the art glass maker for years.  

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Portland’s Toxic Air Problem

Portland’s air is dirtier than we thought. A study conducted by researchers at the U.S. Forest Service revealed dangerously high levels of heavy metals in Portland, sparking an investigation into the sources and causing regulators and officials to question why the pollution was left unchecked for so long.

“Plaintiffs never had knowledge or suspicion that toxic waste from the Bullseye facility had been contaminating the air adjacent to the Fred Meyer office facility until the February 4, 2016 announcement at Fred Meyer,” Silva’s attorney wrote in the lawsuit. “In fact, Ms. Silva went on daily walks for exercise on breaks and at lunch time in the area of the Bullseye facility.”

Earlier this year, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality determined that Bullseye was emitting high levels of carcinogenic metals such as arsenic, cadmium and chromium.  

Silva and her husband are seeking an undisclosed amount for actual and punitive damages in the case.

The suit alleges that Bullseye “knew or should have known” it was emitting harmful chemicals and directly caused cancer in people such as Silva.

“Ms. Silva’s lung cancer was proximately and directly caused and its growth promoted by her exposures to the above contaminants from the Bullseye facility,” the lawsuit stated.

Bullseye officials were not immediately available to comment on the lawsuit.

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