The Michigan Daily - Tuesday July31, 1984 - Page 3
FIRE VICTIMS SUE FOR $9 MILLION
Illegal aliens ile landmark case
SAN DIEGO (AP) - A landowner's duty to provide the United States, including an estimated 3 million legislative proposals.
safe housing for migrant workers, including illegal who have been in the country since 1982 and could "Trying to create a remedy through legislation is a
aliens, is the focus of a trial spawned by a fatal fire in gain legal residence under the provisions of a major very slow process," Avila said. "Many times the best
a makeshift hovel three years ago. immigration law proposal now pending in Congress. way to create a remedy is through the pocketbook."
Two men injured in the fire and the mother of a That proposal, the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, would also IT IS A well-established principle in civil law that
man who was killed are suing the past and present allow Mexicans to come into the United States legally non-citizens, even those in the United States illegally
landowners for more than $9 million in damages. as "guest workers," with the number depending on may sue Americans whose negligence causes them
They allege that the landowners should not have each season's demand for pickers. injuries. In another recent San Diego case, for exam-
allowed the workers - all three were illegal aliens - THE BILL would set penalties for employers who ple, an illegal alien was awarded $2 million after he
to live in unsafe housing. A lawyer for the defense, hire illegal aliens, but the current version carries no became a paraplegic when he was shocked by a hid-
however, said he will argue that the workers were ac- specific standards for housing provided by lan- den utility wire, fell out of a tree and broke his neck.
tually at fault. downers or employers, according to the head of the All three victims of the fire were among dozens of
THE CASE could have national implications for Hispanic civil rights group. men who leave their isolated Mexican village, San
farmers and ranchers who hire migrants, according Joaquin Avila, president and general counsel of the Martin del Estado, eash February and journey 1,700
to lawyers for the plaintiffs and a leading Hispanic San Francisco-based Mexican American Legal miles north to work the fields of San Diego County.
civil rights organization. Defense and Education Fund, said the case, which is They elude "la migra," the U.S. Im-
Those lawyers said the case could affect the scheduled for trial next month, shows how damage See ILLEGAL, Page 4
several million Mexicans now employed illegally in suits can complement civil rights suits and
EPA plans dramatic
S:cutback in leaded gas
WASHINGTON (UPI) - The gover-
nment, citing "overwhelming" eviden-
ce of a health threat to children,
proposed yesterday to cut the amount
of lead in gasoline 91 percent by 1986
with the hope of eliminating it entirely
in a decade.
The tough new plan, announced by
Environmental Protection Agency
chief William Ruckelshaus, drew
praise from environmentalists, but the
move is likely to run into a court
challenge from the lead industry.
THE ACTION stops short of a total
ban on leaded gasoline, which still ac-
counts for 45 percent of the motor fuel
But because lead is so dangerous to
children and fetuses - low-level ex-
posure can cause mental impairment
and high levels can be fatal - health of-
ficials have been pushing to get lead out
gasoline as soon as possible.
"The evidence is overwhelming that
lead, from all sources, is a threat to
human health," Ruckelshaus told
"RECENTLY, additional evidence
has come in showing that adverse
health effects from lead exposure may
occur at much lower levels than
heretofore considered safe."
The EPA estimates there may be
300,000 children - many of them inner-
city dwellers - with blood lead levels at
least slightly higher than what is con-
sidered to be safe.
By 1986, that figure is expected to drop
to 97,000, and Ruckelshaus said the
new restrictions will take 50,000 more
children out of that category.
UNDER THE EPA plan, the lead
content of leaded gasoline would be cut
back from the current 1.1 grams per
gallon to 0.1 grams beginning Jan. 1,
The move also was prompted by repor-
ts of more motorists illegally fueling
newer cars with leaded gas. The agency
estimates at leasf 13.5 percent of newer
cars are being "misfueled."
The cost of making leaded gasoline,
he said, will rise about 2 cents a gallon
- which will roughly even out the cost
of producing leaded and unleaded fuel.
On average, however, the pump price
of unleaded gas is 7 cents a gallon
higher than leaded fuel.
The amount of lead in the atmosphere
has increased by "2,000-fold since
Roman times," says Bernard Gold-
stein, Environmental Protection Agen-
cy assistant administrator for research
and development. Lead pollution has
even been found in desolate Antarctica,
Low-level exposure to lead can cause
learning disabilities and reduce in-
telligence in children. High-level ex-
posure can cause central nervous
system disorders, mental retardation
- even death.
In addition to car exhaust, sources of
lead contamination include bullets,
glass and ceramic products, paint
pigments, food can solder, smelting,
refining, and coal combustion.
The EPA began regulating the lead
content of gasoline in 1973 under the
Clean Air Act. From 1976 to 1982, the
EPA phased down the lead content of
leaded gasoline from 2 grams per
gallon to 1.1 grams.
" i )6y
Radical robot Associated Press
A tuxedo-clad robot leads a demonstration to protest defense funding in the
computer sciences. The protest was held yesterday outside a conference on
battlefield intelligence and robotics in Cambridge, Mass.
@ U.S. sends
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao (AP) - Two gunmen who
hijacked a Venezuelan jetliner carrying 87 people freed six
In Washington, a Defense Department spokesman said the
United States had sent "technical advisers" to help deal
with the hijackers. Navy Lt. Tom Yeager gave no details,
saying only, "at the request of the government of the
Netherlands Antilles, the United States government is
making available technical advisers."
GOVERNMENTS at two previous Caribbean stops refused
to deal with the hijackers, who seized the Aeropostal DC-9
Sunday afternoon and are demanding up to $5 million and a
helicopter. The hijackers, armed with pistols, initially had
also asked that Venezuela give them military weapons in-
cluding machine guns, grenades and rifles, and threatened to
blow up the plane if their demands were not met.
Venezuelan officials said most of the passengers were Dut-
ch residents of Curacao, but there were four U.S. citizens
aboard. They said the plane had carried 82 passengers, in-
cluding the hijackers, and a crew of five.
Accounts varied on the number of hijackers, ranging from
two to seven, and one was believed to be a Haitian opposed to
the authoritarian regime of President-for-Life Jean-Claude
Robin Visser, public relations officer at the airport, said
four passengers were released at 1:30 p.m. He said that at 3
p.m., a man about 30 years old carrying the injured girl left
the plane and they were treated at an emergency first-aid
center and then taken to a hospital.
The plane was hijacked Sunday after it departed the
Venezuelan capital of Caracas at about 2:10 p.m.