A lawsuit was filed Jan. 6 against Clark County, City of Las Vegas, Union Pacific Railroad Company and others after several people allegedly died or became sick because of where they worked.

According to the lawsuit, Clark County employees were knowingly subjected to unsafe work conditions at the Clark County Government Center near Grand Central Parkway and West Charleston Boulevard since the building opened in 1995.

The lawsuit claims that hazardous or toxic chemicals were manufactured and distributed by several companies on the land prior to the construction of the government center.

Additionally, Union Pacific Railroad, CalNev Pipeline and Kinder Morgan knowingly dumped diesel fuel on the property.

The lawsuit also claims that Clark County and the City of Las Vegas was aware of this before the government center was built in 1995.

There are 7 people listed as deceased in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs allegedly developed cancers and/or other illnesses after being exposed to chemical waste products on the property owned and controlled by the Union Pacific Railroad at their Las Vegas Rail Yard.

The development of Union Pacific’s site in Clark County began as far back as 1904 and was a mid-point stop between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.

The site was developed as a maintenance hub, a fueling facility, battery shop and diesel-engine repair shop. The site comprised 320 acres bordered by Main Street to the east, Charleston Boulevard to the south, Interstate 15 to the west and U.S. 95 to the north.

The lawsuit says the railroad created a waste disposal trench and would dump contaminated bunker fuel, diesel fuel, ethanol, jet fuel, lubricants, cleaning solvents and other waste into the trench.

By 1952, the trench had become a known hazard and the railroad decided to set fire to it in 1952.

During the 1960s, Union Pacific began to shut down operation at the Las Vegas Rail Yard

Starting in the late ‘60s, the City of Las Vegas began looking at the land for development. One of the first areas purchased became the location for the Plaza hotel-casino.

Starting in the late ‘60s, the City of Las Vegas began looking at the land for development. One of the first areas purchased became the location for the Plaza hotel-casino.

In February 1985, there was a massive diesel fuel oil spill in what remained of the yard. Two leaks along the CalNev pipeline were also discovered. Both areas are adjacent to the property where Clark County constructed the government center.

The City of Las Vegas then bought the property and sold it to Clark County for the construction of the government center. The lawsuit alleges the city did not test for contamination before the sale.

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