Flyers trainers sue team over alleged cancer-causing Zamboni chemicals

·2 min read
Two Flyers trainers are suing ownership, claiming they were unknowingly exposed to cancer-causing chemicals from Zambonis at the team's practice facility.  (Photo via Reuters)
Two Flyers trainers are suing ownership, claiming they were unknowingly exposed to cancer-causing chemicals from Zambonis at the team's practice facility. (Photo via Reuters)

Two members of the Philadelphia Flyers training staff have reportedly filed a lawsuit against the organization, alleging that they have developed rare and incurable medical conditions due to being exposed to carcinogens from the Zambonis at the Flyers Training Center.

Jim McCrossin, 64, the team’s director of medical services, and assistant athletic trainer Sal Raffa, 42, allege that “they have developed rare medical conditions as a direct and proximate result of repeated and prolonged exposure.”

McCrossin developed myeloproliferative neoplasm and myelofibrosis, a type of blood cancer that is terminal. Additionally, both McCrossin and Raffa were diagnosed with thrombocythemia, a disease in which your bone marrow produces too many platelets which has no known cure.

The lawsuit dictates that the Voorhees, New Jersey facility’s Zambonis “used gasoline and/or fuel containing and/or producing carcinogens,” adding that there are similar ice-surfacing machines that do not require the use of these chemicals.

Court documents also allege that the Zambonis were often left idling in a “small, enclosed room” adjacent to the trainers’ room at the team's practice facility, and that poor ventilation caused the complainants to ingest an excessive amount of carcinogenic chemicals.

McCrossin has worked for the Flyers since 2000, while Raffa was hired in 2004. Both are still employed by the organization.

“The safety of our employees and guests at the Flyers Training Center and all of our facilities is always a top priority for us,” a statement by the team read. “We have looked into the allegations made by Jim McCrossin and Sal Raffa over the course of several months, and, based on that, believe that their claims have no merit. Beyond that, we cannot comment further given that this matter is in litigation.”

The complaint named multiple defendants, most notably telecommunications conglomerate Comcast and its various holdings, who own and operate the Philadelphia Flyers.

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