Court orders ExxonMobil to pay $725.5 million in leukemia case involving mechanic

A Pennsylvania jury in the United States of America has ruled that ExxonMobil must pay $725.5 million to an ex-mechanic who alleged his cancer was caused by toxic chemicals in the company’s gasoline and solvents, as stated by the plaintiff’s lawyers.

The verdict was delivered on Thursday, according to attorneys, following a trial in a Philadelphia state court.

The former mechanic, Paul Gill,  during the trial, claimed that he was exposed to benzene in ExxonMobil products while employed at a gas station from 1975 to 1980.

In his 2020 lawsuit, the 67-year-old ex-mechanic stated that he cleaned car parts with his bare hands using petroleum products, exposing him to benzene through direct skin contact and inhalation.

He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer, in 2019.

After a trial that spanned just over a week, a jury determined Exxon was negligent in failing to warn of the health risks associated with benzene, a substance the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies as a known carcinogen.

Gill’s attorneys noted that the entire amount awarded was in compensatory damages.

On its part, an Exxon representative described the verdict as “illogical” and stated that the company would request the court to overturn it and that it intended to “pursue all available appeals.”

Benzene is a chemical compound extensively utilized across the United States. It is commonly used in motor fuels and serves as a solvent for various resins and plastics.

The EPA set strict regulations on the permissible levels of benzene in fuels.

This regulation is crucial to control its presence and impact, given the chemical’s potential health risks.



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