The Paducah Sun
The Paducah Sun
Paducah, Kentucky

Labor issues first sick-worker check

An Ashland woman whose late husband worked at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant will receive $125,000 on Thursday.

Staff report

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The widow of a Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant employee will receive the first compensation check Thursday under the new law that disburses toxic-exposure illness benefits through the U.S. Department of Labor.

Lera Cloyes will be presented the $125,000 federal check from U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning at 11 a.m. at the Greenup County Senior Citizens Center in Ashland.

Cloyes´ late husband, James M. Cloyes, who was employed as a maintenance mechanic at the Paducah plant for 25 years, contracted and later died of advanced pulmonary fibrosis.

The new law, which took effect Nov. 1, moved the heavily backlogged claims program from the Department of Energy to the Department of Labor, with the intent of eliminating the backlog of more than 24,000 toxic-exposure illness claims nationwide, including roughly 3,000 at Paducah.

The toxic-exposure program will pay as much as $250,000 per worker. The money is apart from lump-sum payments of $150,000 for Paducah nuclear workers with specified radiation-induced cancers and chronic beryllium disease.

Bunning had secured a provision in the Defense Authorization Bill that transferred the toxin claims program to the Department of Labor.