• California Court Rules in Favor Of Benzene Worker With Leukemia
  • October 7, 2015
  • Law Firm: Waters Kraus LLP - Dallas Office
  • A California court of appeals reportedly has ruled that a trial judge was wrong to throw out a benzene lawsuit brought by an automotive mechanic exposed to benzene supplied by United States Steel Corp. The mechanic had worked with Liquid Wrench, a product that contained the toxic benzene chemical.

    Automotive Mechanic’s Benzene Lawsuit Reinstated by California Appellate Court


    U.S. Steel convinced the trial judge that it could not be held responsible for harm that its benzene caused once it was incorporated into another company’s product, like Liquid Wrench. But the plaintiff argued that benzene is a “toxic waste” that has no safe use. According to the plaintiff, benzene is inherently defective, like asbestos, which causes mesothelioma. The California appellate court held that U.S. Steel had not presented any evidence to contradict the plaintiff’s argument about benzene’s inherently toxic nature. As a result, the court ruled, the plaintiff’s benzene lawsuit should not have been tossed out of court.

    Benzene
    is a toxic chemical that is found in gasoline and other petroleum-based products. Many workers in a variety of industries and trades are exposed to benzene on the job. But automotive mechanics, like the one in this California case, are among those most heavily exposed to benzene. For many mechanics diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome, occupational benzene exposure is the cause.