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Benzene Leukemia Lawsuit

In May of 2024, a Pennsylvania jury found ExxonMobil was financially responsible for a former mechanic who developed leukemia. This benzene leukemia case is important because others might have been harmed in a similar way and not even know it. Here are the basic facts of this case.

mechanic benzene leukemia lawsuit

Mechanic Cleans Engines

In the mid-1970s until 1980, the mechanic in this case worked at a gas station. Within the scope of his duties, he regularly cleaned engine parts. Using gasoline and solvents, he cleaned the parts. He was exposed to benzene by inhaling the fumes in his lungs and the liquids on his bare skin. The gasoline and solvent products he used were produced by ExxonMobil and contained benzene.

When using the solvents and gasoline at work decades ago, the products contained no warnings about benzene exposure. It wasn’t until 2019 that the mechanic was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. The mechanic tried to figure out what caused his leukemia. He filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil in 2020. In May of 2024, a Philadelphia jury awarded the mechanic $725.5 million in compensatory damages against ExxonMobil.

ExxonMobil Use of Benzene

ExxonMobil produces a wide variety of products. The mechanic in this case used solvents and gasoline products made by ExxonMobil. Many crude oil products contain benzene. The company was aware of the benzene in these products and the harm that benzene causes, but it did not warn customers and users of the danger.

EPA Benzene Warning

The Environmental Protection Agency warns that even low levels of exposure to benzene greatly increase the risk of developing specific types of cancer. The EPA also acknowledges workers experience higher levels of exposure than the general public. Because of this, the EPA warns workers have an extremely high risk of developing health problems related to benzene exposure – through any method of contact/exposure.

Failure To Warn

Failure to warn is a basic product liability principle used in injury claims. In this situation, ExxonMobil was aware specific products contained benzene. The company was also aware of the harmful health problems people would suffer when exposed to benzene. But, ExxonMobil did not provide safety instructions or proper warnings for users to protect themselves. As a result, users believe the product is safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions – but the product is not safe.

$725.5 Million Benzene Verdict

A Philadelphia jury heard the evidence and found ExxonMobil was financially responsible for causing this man’s leukemia. The jury awarded the mechanic in this case $725.5 million. It’s important to note the story does not stop with the jury verdict. ExxonMobil’s attorneys have stated they will exhaust every method to appeal. It could be years before this man gets justice.

This case is important because it lays the groundwork to help others in similar situations. Evidence was presented at this trial that will help build their case(s) and punish companies that knowingly expose people to harmful products without warning.

benzene exposure leukemia lawsuit

Benzene Leukemia Lawsuits

If you have been diagnosed with acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, preleukemia, or aplastic anemia AND you were regularly exposed to petroleum-based products with benzene contact an attorney for a free case evaluation. An attorney at Haggerty Silverman & Justice will review the facts of your situation and answer any questions you have at no cost. Our injury attorneys work on a contingency fee – you don’t pay us anything unless we recover money for you. No win, no fee.