$9.5 Million Settlement For Worker Who Developed Occupational Cancer As A Result of Exposure to Benzene and Other Toxic Chemicals

Fitzsimmons Law Firm obtained a $9.5 Million settlement for its client and his wife in a lawsuit alleging that the client developed cancer as a result of his historic and chronic exposure to benzene, solvents and toxic chemicals in the workplace. The plaintiff worked in a plant where his job duties required him to use various solvents to clean up paints and coatings. The solvents were extremely hazardous and contained known carcinogenic components, including: Toluene, Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK), Methyl Isobutyl Ketone (MIBK), Acetone, Hexone, xylenes, aromatic petroleum distillates, petroleum hydrocarbons, ethylbenzene, aromatic naphtha, and benzene. After working in the plant for numerous years, the plaintiff developed cancer at the age of 37 which was extremely rare for this type of cancer. There was also no evidence of genetic or hereditary predisposition to this type of cancer.

As a result of the cancer, the plaintiff had to undergo numerous surgical procedures, including removal of a kidney. He has also had to be treated with chemotherapy and radiation. During the course of his treatment, the plaintiff incurred a significant amount of medical bills and other related damages.

The plaintiff and his wife filed suit against the manufacturers and asserted causes of action for product liability (design defect), product liability (failure to warn), negligence, and breach of warranty. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the manufacturing defendants failed to adequately warn or convey information regarding the potential hazards of their products to downstream employers and end-users and further failed to perform the proper and necessary due diligence, evaluation, and hazard determination in relation to the preparation of its labels and MSDS sheets. The plaintiff also asserted a “deliberate intention” claim against his employer alleging that the employer knowingly exposed him to unsafe working conditions by requiring plaintiff to work in areas where management knew he would be chronically and systematically exposed to impermissibly high levels of toxic chemicals and benzene, failing to provide the plaintiff with adequate warnings concerning the dangerous characteristics of the chemicals at its plant, and failing to provide adequate ventilation, respiratory and other forms of personal protective equipment.

The allegations against the defendants were substantiated by the testimony and admissions of numerous co-employees, management personnel, and corporate representatives. They were also confirmed by plaintiff’s expert industrial hygienist and warnings experts.

Fitzsimmons Law Firm also retained experts in the field of toxicology, epidemiology, medical oncology and occupational medicine to establish the medical causation between the plaintiff’s cancer and his exposure to solvents and benzene. The firm also retained various medical experts, life care planners, and economists to establish the medically necessary future care needs of the plaintiff.

The settlement also included the plaintiff’s wife’s loss of consortium claim which was significant given her husband’s injuries and complications and her care-giving efforts and actions.

Fitzsimmons Law Firm is a leading Plaintiff’s litigation and personal injury firm headquartered in Wheeling, West Virginia. The Firm has a proud history of protecting workers who have been injured as a result of their exposure to toxic and harmful chemicals or other work-related incidents. The Firm has obtained over $1 Billion for its clients, including over 185 settlements or verdicts in excess of $1 Million.

DISCLAIMER: Verdicts and Settlements are listed on this website for informational purposes only. Future verdicts or settlements cannot necessarily be predicted from prior results. Fitzsimmons Law Firm PLLC makes no guarantee that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters. Each case depends on its own unique facts, strengths and weaknesses, severity of damages/injuries, credibility of witnesses, availability of insurance coverage, and many other facts that can affect a claim's verdict and/or settlement amount. Because of this, you cannot assume that the same result would occur for you in your state under the particular facts of your case.


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