3 officers sue over meth exposure

All will suffer lifelong health problems, according to filing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Three police officers have filed a federal lawsuit against current and former Butler police chiefs for injuries they suffered while serving a search warrant on a home where a suspected meth lab was operating.

According to the lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, all three will suffer lifelong health problems as a result of their exposure to the fumes. The lawsuit does not specify the amount of money the officers are seeking in damages.

Butler police officers Mark Frost, Harold Anderson and Kenneth Rush were hospitalized for about a week after the November 2007 raid. On the day of the raid, the operators of the meth lab began throwing chemicals into a sump pump, according to the lawsuit, creating a toxic fog the officers inhaled as they forced their way into the home.

The Kansas City Star reported on its website Saturday that the officers were hospitalized with chemically induced pneumonia and heart murmurs.

The suit was filed against former and current Butler police chiefs and the town’s former mayor. The plaintiffs allege that the city received grant money to buy breathing masks to protect officers from meth fumes, but the police department never trained them on how to use the masks.

All three officers continue to work in law enforcement. Frost is still an officer with the Butler department, Anderson is now Bates County sheriff and Rush works for the Sheriff’s Department.

Butler Police Chief Jim Garnett was not available for comment Saturday.

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