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Exxon ordered to pay $725M to mechanic who claimed toxic chemicals caused his cancer

A Pennsylvania jury ordered ExxonMobil to pay $725.5 million to a former mechanic who claimed toxic chemicals within the firm’s gasoline and solvents caused his cancer, in accordance to attorneys for the plaintiff.

The 10-2 verdict got here on Thursday, attorneys stated, after a trial in a state courtroom in Philadelphia, the place former mechanic Paul Gill alleged he was uncovered to benzene in ExxonMobil merchandise whereas working at a fuel station between 1975 and 1980.

Following the trial that lasted simply over per week, the jury discovered Exxon responsible for negligently failing to warn concerning the well being dangers of benzene, which the Environmental Protect Agency has categorised as a recognized carcinogen.

ExxonMobil logo
The jury discovered Exxon responsible for negligently failing to warn concerning the well being dangers of benzene, which the EPA has categorised as a recognized carcinogen. REUTERS

The total verdict was in compensatory damages, in accordance to Gill’s attorneys.

An Exxon spokesperson referred to as the decision “irrational” and stated the corporate would ask the courtroom to reverse it, and that it deliberate to “exhaust all available appeals.”

The 67-year-old former mechanic stated in his 2020 lawsuit that he used petroleum merchandise to clear automobile components with his naked palms, which uncovered him to benzene by way of direct pores and skin contact and inhalation.

He was identified with acute myeloid leukemia, a sort of blood cancer, in 2019.

“This verdict is important because it’s a finding that their gasoline causes cancer,” stated Patrick Wigle, an lawyer for Gill, in a press release. “ExxonMobil has known for decades that benzene causes cancer, yet they resisted warning the public and taking basic precautions to warn the public and limit exposure.”

Gasoline pump
“This verdict is important because it’s a finding that their gasoline causes cancer,” stated Patrick Wigle, an lawyer for Gill. Christopher Sadowski

Benzene is extensively used within the United States in motor fuels, as a solvent for resins and plastics, and for different industrial functions.

The EPA, which limits the quantity of benzene that’s acceptable in fuels, says it additionally might be present in emissions from burning coal and oil, from automobile exhaust and from evaporation at fuel stations, amongst different issues.

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