Mike Perlstein / Eyewitness News
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An Orleans Parish Sheriff's deputy has sued his employer and various contractors, claiming he was exposed to toxic mold while working in Orleans Parish Prison and the criminal courthouse.

Donald Marshall Jr., a deputy from 2006 to 2008 and from 2010 to present, claims in his lawsuit filed Friday that he suffered 'severe respiratory illness' after being exposed to mold during the remediation work following flooding from Hurricane Katrina.

Marshall claims that Sheriff Marlin Gusman and other high-ranking commanders knew about the hazardous conditions, but failed to warn employees or provide protective gear.

The worst of the contamination was in the basement of the criminal courthouse building at Tulane and Broad, the lawsuit claims, and part of Marhall's job was to transport inmates back and forth from the jail to the courthouse through the basement corridors.

At the time when 'contractors were working in the courthouse basement, Sheriff Gusman was aware of the nature and scope of the construction and remediation taking place in the courthouse and the toxic conditions in which his employees were required to work in,' the petition states.

Marshall continues to work as a sheriff's deputy, but has been removed from courthouse duty. His lawsuit asks for unspecified damages.

Sheriff's office spokesman Phillip Stelly said the agency had no comment because 'we don't comment on pending litigation.'

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