Seattle officer assigned to clean up homeless camps files $10M claim

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SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer has filed a $10 million claim against the city, alleging it negligently exposed him to "an extremely dangerous man-made toxin" by assigning him and other city workers to clean up a homeless encampment.

The Seattle Times reports officer Timothy Gifford contends he was exposed to high concentrations of the toxic chemical compounds polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during the Jan. 8 cleanup of the camp in a gravel lot in the Sodo neighborhood.

As a result of the alleged exposure, Gifford claims in the Wednesday filing that he has been diagnosed with early onset Type 2 diabetes and now generally suffers from poor health.

His attorney Lincoln Beauregard says the officer previously had been in good physical health, managing a lifelong liver condition during his more than seven years in police work.

A spokesperson for the city's Finances and Administration Department, which handles tort claims, says the department doesn't comment on active claims or lawsuits.

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