name address address This holiday season, wake up your friends with a gift subscription to the Observer. the regular price. A second subscription is $15. All additional gifts are only $10 each. Your friends will receive announcements of your gifts just before Christmas. INNIMMIIIIIIIIIMINIIIIIINIMIMIPIIMIIIIIIIIMIN1111=11111111111111=11111111111111110111MIMMENIIIMI name city state zip city state zip your name address city state zip money enclosed bill me this is my renewal The Texas Observer 600 W. 7th Austin, Texas 78701 1111111111i Stiles hired an attorney and filed a federal lawsuit seeking million-dollar damages for “gross negligence.” But in August a Federal judge ruled against him. Now the family hopes a state court will consider their case for workers’ compensation payments. The families of some half-dozen deceased workers are in the same boat. Stiles still keeps a copy of the Union Carbide newsletter that attributes his father’s death to a heart attack. “I don’t know where they got that,” he says. “We never told them he had a heart attack.” For other victims, the disease was lingering and terribly painful. Glyn Ott, himself a 33-year-old Union Carbide em ployee, told of his father’s physical and mental deterioration. Luther Ott first recognized that something wasn’t right when he “went looking for a certain wrench and couldn’t remember its name,” Glyn Ott says of his deceased father. “His vision started going bad. He ended up blind in one eye and couldn’t see through the other. He said it was like seeing .through a glass of water. In the last couple of weeks, there was just constant screaming and not knowing what was going on.” Ralph Giuisti was another Union Carbide worker who contracted a brain tumor. When interviewed, Giuisti had suffered severe brain damage. The Giuisti family gathered around this reporter to tell of the ordeal they had experienced since December, 1977, when the family’s breadwinner first “complained of bad headaches,” according to his wife, Shirley Barbara Giuisti. She was seated at one end of the Galveston family’s cozy living room. Ralph Giuisti found a place on a big sofa. On another sofa were Craig, 20, Stephen, 13, and Joan 21, three of the couple’s five wasn’t himself,” Mrs. Giuisti said. “We had no idea what was wrong. “The guys on his bowling team commented when he couldn’t get his right leg up,” Mrs. Giuisti added. “They noticed his right foot was dragging when Ralph threw three gutter balls.” Giuisti himself told of experiencing great pain. “I’d wake up at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning with headaches,” the muscular, longtime Galveston athlete start at the back of my head and go to the front.” He spoke in sentences that were often slurred; he looked like a man in a trance. Nonetheless, the former Union Carbide shipping clerk who logged 25 years of service at the Texas City plant, could remember many details of his bout with cancer. “I had to go up to Houston to inspect some bottles and I went into a dark restaurant,” he said. “I couldn’t focus my eyes. It was like walking into darkness.” When he finally quit his job on January 30, 1978, he was in continual pain, seeing double, and unable to keep his balance. For the family, it has been one crisis after another. Shortly after Giuisti left work, Mrs. Giuisti remembers doctors at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston first said that “everything would be fine,” but then gave him six months to live. “This was more than I could take,” she said. For a couple of weeks, Giuisti was living at home and visiting the hospital periodically to have a cyst drained. Giuisti also underwent radiation treatments’: One day in early March, 1978, Mrs. Giuisti says, she “heard a real loud noise in the bathroom.” She rushed to see what was wrong. “There was Ralph passed out on the floor and cold sweat was all over his body.” Giuisti’s wife and daughter, Joan, hauled him off the floor and drove him to the hospital. There they were subjected to a long wait and much red tape. “Ralph was in a wheelchair, comatose,” Mrs. Giuisti says. “Finally they put him in intensive care.” The next day, the attending physician called the family into his office for a somber conference. ” ‘Ralph is so bad off, I don’t expect him to live 14 NOVEMBER 6, 1981
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