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Staff file photo / The Wacker production plant in Bradley County manufactures polysilicon for use in solar power panels.

A lawsuit against Wacker Chemical from a contract pipe fitter who claims he was burned during a November 2020 explosion at the Wacker polysilicon plant has been withdrawn.

Justin R. Bailey, a Walker County man who worked for Jake Marshall LLC, sued Wacker for $3 million last year claiming that the chemical company negligently exposed him to hydrochloric acid when an explosion took place at the Charleston, Tennessee, plant on Nov. 13, 2020. Another worker died from injuries incurred during the explosion and Wacker was fined for the incident by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA).

In a brief notice filed in federal court in Chattanooga this week, Bailey's attorney, Robert W. Wheeler, gave notice of the voluntary dismissal of the complaint. Wacker declined comment on the case and Bailey's attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.

Ken Collins, site director at Wacker, said the company doesn't comment on litigation. But he said Wacker "continues to work to improve the safety culture" of the plant where accidents in both in 2017 and 2020 resulted in worker injuries and multiple lawsuits.

The $2.5 billion Wacker polysilicon plant is the largest manufacturing investment in Southeast Tennessee and the plant currently employs about 660 workers.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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