An employee of the Daikin America plant in Decatur sued his employer Thursday over a July 2 chemical exposure that also has been blamed for the death of one of his coworkers.

Will Delashaw and his wife Ashley filed the lawsuit against Daikin and unnamed defendants who designed or manufactured equipment that malfunctioned, causing Will Delashaw to be "exposed to toxic chemicals which caused injury to his lungs and other parts of his body."

The lawsuit alleges Delashaw, a Morgan County resident, is undergoing medical treatment for the injuries, and that the injuries have caused "permanent physical and vocational impairment." Delashaw is suing Daikin under workers' compensation laws, claiming a controversy has arisen with his employer over benefits to be paid. He is suing the unnamed defendants for negligence and product liability.

Daikin employee Wesley Rusk, 45, died Sept. 10 after his wife Sharona Rusk said he and two other employees were exposed on July 2 to chemicals at Daikin. Sharona Rusk said last month that doctors at Vanderbilt Medical Center believed her husband was exposed to sulfur dioxide. Wesley Rusk had severe lung inflammation before his death, his wife said.

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eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.

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