Mississippi suing for problems in State Health Lab design - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi suing for problems in State Health Lab design

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The state is suing because they've spent millions to fix what it calls design flaws at new state health lab. Those flaws have delayed the opening of the facility by more than two years. Attorney Dorsey Carson is representing the state in the lawsuit filed Monday.

"I think the biggest deal is that the state of Mississippi,on a major construction project, didn't get what it paid for," explained Carson.

The suit names the architectural firm, Dale Partners and it's sub-consultants as the defendants. Carson says that lab's role is critical for the state's health.

"Tuberculosis testing is done there every day currently," said Carson. "We're talking about anthrax testing. And anything that affects the area. I mean, for example, if Ebola came here, it would be at the state health lab that that work would be done."

The CDC didn't give the federal certification to the facility when it ran tests for the "Select Agent" program. That's for facilities with certain biohazard risks.

The Department of Finance and Administration Executive Director Kevin Upchurch said in a statement, “The most concerning one is that in the event of a power failure, the air pressure in the Health Lab becomes positive, thus pushing the air containing biological contaminants out of the lab and into the clean areas of the building.”

A representative from the Dell Partners architectural firm said they are disappointed the state has decided to move forward with this lawsuit. They believe the claims are unfounded.

The design flaws have been corrected and the state is waiting on another certification test from the CDC.

The total project cost was $32 million dollars. The general contractor has not been named as a defendant at this time.

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