City to pay claim in asbestos-related case

The workers compensation claim amounts to close to half a million dollars.

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WALLA WALLA - City officials agreed to pay close to half a million dollars in what is believed to be the first asbestos-related case against it.

Earlier this month, City Council unanimously approved following the city attorney's recommendation to pay a $425,778 workers' compensation claim.

That claim was made by and on behalf of former city worker Allen Harry Dawes and his surviving spouse.

City attorney Tim Donaldson said Dawes' city work included cutting concrete and other projects where asbestos dust may have been present.

Donaldson could not comment if he expected a civil suit would follow the workers compensation claim or if other city workers may have come in contact with asbestos.

An attorney for the Dawes family was unavailable for an interview.

The city is self-insured for workers' compensation, which means it will have to pay the claim out of city funds, Donaldson said.

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