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Family speaks out after apparent chemical exposure victim dies of COVID-19

A husband with three daughters are still struggling after his wife died of COVID-19. But, her husband says the real cause of her death came from chemical exposure at Daikin America’s plant in Decatur.
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 8:29 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2021 at 8:32 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - A husband with three daughters is still struggling after his wife died of COVID-19. But, her husband says the real cause of her death came from chemical exposure at Daikin America’s plant in Decatur.

Darby Dockery had permanent lung damage. Doctors say her weakened immune system only made her more vulnerable. Dockery was a contractor working at Daikin and claims she was exposed to chemicals at the plant in 2019, causing permanent lung damage.

Last month, when Dockery got the virus, her husband Bobby Humphrey said, she feared going to the hospital.

“She said she wouldn’t make it out if she went. So she held out as long as she could,” said Humphrey.

Humphrey says days after she has hospitalized, she was admitted to the ICU and the doctors recommended the ventilator.

“With the injuries already to her lungs, there was nothing nobody could do. She didn’t want to give up, but she was tired of fighting, and every day was a fight for her,” said Humphrey.

Dockery died after two weeks at Crestwood Medical Center.

“The doctors even said, because of her injuries prior existing to COVID is the reason why she passed. The COVID, she just couldn’t take on both,” said Humphrey.

Dockery was already suing Daikin over her chemical exposure injuries, and it’s now a wrongful death lawsuit. Humphrey says he wants Daikin to fix whatever is going on at the plant that’s killing so many.

“They don’t care, and they need to speak with the families and find out what they need,” said Humphrey.

Humphrey says Daikin needs to do what’s right.

“Darby would want them to do what’s right. We don’t need no more future casualties or anything like that,” said Humphrey.

There’s also a second wrongful death case and even more negligence lawsuits for those injured from the same 2019 incident that is under investigation by OSHA. On top of that, two Daikin employees died from a chemical exposure that happened just months ago. We’ll keep you updated as these cases develop.

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