Push for access to Poe Hall at NC State continues with new court filing

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Push for access to Poe Hall at NC State continues
Attorneys representing students and faculty said they want a chance to run independent tests on the building.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The legal battle for access inside Poe Hall at North Carolina State University, where toxic chemicals were discovered, continues. The North Carolina Court of Appeals reports it received a new court document.

The document is a request from attorneys representing Poe Hall workers. It lays out that the attorneys need access inside the building

One lawyer said there are a lot of sick people connected to Poe Hall and they're just trying to get information.

A plaintiff and his attorneys want five to seven days to do their own independent testing of Poe Hall.

The order, if it stands, would grant access to documents and also allow lawyers to depose some university leaders about the discovery of toxic chemicals, including NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson.

NC State is doing another round of testing right now and once data collection is complete, the university said it will work with the EPA on its plan to remedy any uncovered issues.

Poe Hall was shut down in November after PCBs were discovered.

Those chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of diseases, such as cancer.

SEE ALSO | New concerns grow with test results from chemical testing at NC State's Poe Hall

More questions are being raised about the health and safety of faculty and students after toxic chemicals were discovered at NC State's Poe Hall.

A former student, who also worked a graduate assistant, is suing NC State. He is battling terminal cancer.

He wants independent testing of the building and believes, "environmental contamination may have been destroyed or altered" by the university, court documents reveal.

ABC11 reached out to NC State about the case.

"The University does not comment on matters of open litigation," Spokesperson Mick Kulikowksi said.

Some students support out an outside group coming in to do its own investigation.

"It was kind of scary because I'd been in there for like three semesters consecutively, so I do worry a little bit," said student Allyson Mattingly. "I think a second opinion is good to get an unbiased opinion of what's happened in the building, what could have caused it and if it actually does have any side effects."

Poe Hall is going to remain closed through at least the end of 2024.

More than 230 classes have been relocated. The move has affected more than 4,400 student and faculty.

On the website where NC State shares updates on Poe Hall, a recent update stated, "At this time, we don't know what the potential health impacts are associated with spending time in Poe Hall."

Anyone with health concerns is being encouraged to speak with their doctor.

Woodson previously said that "the university remains committed to doing the right things to ensure this is a safe place to work, learn and live."