The former president of the Hopewell, Va., company that produced that toxic pesticide Kepone in 1974 and 1975 filed suit in Richmond yesterday against Allied Chemical Corp., charging that Allied failed to tell him of the chemical's danger.
William P. Moore, former head of the Life Science Products Co., is asking $10 million from Allied and the Traveler's Indemnity Co., which insured both Allied and Life Science.
The suit alleges that Allied "carelessly and negligently" assumed Moore was fully aware of Kepone's danger. He also claims in his suit that Allied and Travelers engaged in a conspiracy to blame him publicly for the Kepone disaster.
Allied spokesman could not be reached for comment yesterday, but the company has said in reply to previous civil suits that Moore had considerable knowledge of Kepone.
Life Science took over Kepone in March, 1974, from Allied, which had produced the pesticide since 1966.
Dozens of former workers at the pesticide plant and their family members became ill from Kepone. Virginia Gov. Mills E. Godwin closed part of the James River to commercial fishing because of Kepone contamination and said recently that it would take a miracle to remove the contaminant from the river bottom.
Life Science was shut down in July, 1975, and Moore said that since then he has been unable to find permanent work and has been living off retirement benefits from Allied. He had worked for Allied for 26 years before opening the Life Science plant.
Moore has been fined $25,000 for his role in the Kepone pollution case and he and a former partner were also fined $16,000 by the federal Occupational and Safety Health Administration because of conditions at their plant.
Moore's suit is the latest in a string filed against Allied Chemical in the wake of the Kepone tragedy. Dozens of individual suits filed by former workers and watermen remain to be resolved.
Last year, a federal judge fined Allied Chemical $13.2 million for secretly discharging Kepone and other chemicals, but the amount later was reduced to $5 million after Allied offered to establish an $8 million environmental fund to control Kepone pollution.