Seattle police officer files $10M claim against city for exposure to 'toxin' while cleaning homeless camp

A Seattle police officer filed a $10 million claim against the city Wednesday, alleging that he was exposed to an “extremely dangerous man-made toxin” when he was assigned to clean up a homeless camp in the industrial SoDo neighborhood in January.

Timothy Gifford claims he was exposed to high concentrations of the toxic chemical compounds polychlorinated biphenyls, (PCBs) that were once widely used in electrical equipment such as capacitors and transformers, according to The Seattle Times.

FILE - In this May 24, 2018 file photo, a man sleeps on the sidewalk as people behind line up to buy lunch at a Dick's Drive-In restaurant in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

FILE - In this May 24, 2018 file photo, a man sleeps on the sidewalk as people behind line up to buy lunch at a Dick's Drive-In restaurant in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

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Gifford says the exposure worsened a lifelong liver condition, causing him to be diagnosed with early-onset Type 2 diabetes.

His lawyer said aside from the liver condition, Gifford has been in generally good health.

“The exposure to these toxins damaged his already susceptible liver even further,” his lawyer said, according to The Seattle Times. “Now, he faces ongoing medical care.”

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A spokesperson for the city said they don’t comment on active claims.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.