Seven farm workers file lawsuit after a plane sprayed them with - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Seven farm workers file lawsuit after a plane sprayed them with pesticides

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YAKIMA, WA - Exposed to harmful chemicals and now taking action, seven farm workers filed a lawsuit in Yakima against two companies they claim are responsible for spraying them with pesticides.

The incident happened two years ago in an apple orchard in Mattawa. Field laborers with Jones Produce Inc. were sprayed with pesticides by a plane in a neighboring field operated by Royal Flying Services Inc.

"That spray drifted off target and caused them to have some issues from the pesticides in terms of their acute health," said Joe Morrison, Attorney with Columbia Legal Services and the attorney representing the farm workers.

The workers suffered from headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting among many other symptoms from the toxic chemicals.

The law firm documented what happened to some of the workers on that day in a documentary.

"It was about the third time it went over when my coworkers began sneezing and coughing," said Modesta Arista Gomez, one of the plaintiffs. "They yelled at us to get out."

Morrison says that he's dealt with these cases before not only in Mattawa but in Wenatchee as well as in Yakima.

The goal of their case is clear.

"They want change, they want this to stop, and they want a stricter law that's in place that says you have to notify people ahead of time," said Morrison.

Through this case, the workers hope they can bring about change in the farm labor industry so that this doesn't happen to anyone else in the future.

Reporter Gilbert Magallon reached out to both companies involved in the lawsuit but did not receive a call back from Jones Produce Inc. and was not able to contact anyone at Royal Flying Services Inc.

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