An irresponsible cleaner destroyed samples from decades of research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He turned off the lab refrigerator containing the key samples because it was making a “squeaky” sound. Despite the warning on the device.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a private school in Troy, New York, is suing the cleaning company that hired the person responsible for ruining decades of research work.
A cleaning worker turned off the laboratory refrigerator where the key samples were stored at -80 °C. These samples lost their properties due to the device being closed and, as a result, overheating. The BBC reported that the school suffered an estimated $1 million in damages, according to the foundation.
A lawyer for the institute wrote in a lawsuit against a cleaning company that research into photosynthesis could “pioneer” the development of more solar panels.
The suit said that a few days before the freezer was turned off, an alarm went off, warning of a 3°C rise in temperature. It was then determined that raising the temperature to this level did not threaten cell cultures and samples.
Since it would take a week for the repairs to begin in the freezer, a sign was hung on the freezer door advising you on how to silence the noise you make. The memo indicated that the freezer should not be moved or separated, and “no cleaning is required at this location.”
The cleaner was disturbed by the “nuisance alarms.”
In order to silence the alarm, a certain button must be pressed for 5-10 seconds. However, the cleaner pressed the button responsible for turning off the freezer completely. As a result of closing the freezer, the temperature in the washing machine rose to -30 degrees Celsius. As a result, according to the lawsuit, most of the samples were destroyed.
The institute’s lawyer said a cleaning company employee admitted to hearing “nuisance alarms” and the lawyers who questioned him said he “still didn’t seem to believe he had done anything wrong”.
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