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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | East County / Thousand Oaks

Suit Claims Amgen Hid Contamination

October 05, 2000|TRACY WILSON

An Amgen Inc. employee is suing the biotechnology company for allegedly concealing toxic mold contamination in the building where it produces its blockbuster kidney drug, Epogen.

Darcy Jensen, a nine-year employee and facility supervisor, filed the lawsuit last week in Ventura County Superior Court.

Jensen contends the Thousand Oaks-based company concealed from employees, customers and the Food and Drug Administration the discovery of mold in building exhaust hoods, ceiling tiles and wallboard.

Claiming the toxic spores caused her to develop rashes and sinus infections, she is suing for negligence, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to a statement from her lawyer.

Jensen further contends the company twice hired environmental consultants who found toxic waste contamination in buildings, including the one in which Epogen is produced. She alleges Amgen covered up the findings and failed to address the problem.

Amgen spokesman David Kaye would not comment on the lawsuit.

Epogen, one of the company's best-selling drugs, is used to stimulate red blood-cell growth in patients with kidney disease.

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