Saturday, September 25, 2010

Trial over brain cancer will address interesting question about cause in fact

Is a cluster of brain cancers and brain tumors in a small village on the shores of an Illinois lake just a random occurrence, or can the cause of those illnesses be attributed to the negligence of a chemical company with a plant about a mile north of the village? This is a question a jury in Philadelphia will have to address in the trial of Branham v. Rohm & Haas Co., which is expected to last for the next eight to ten weeks. Go here and here for more on the story. The plaintiff in the case, which began last Monday is one of 31 residents or former residents of McCullom Lake, Illinois, who filed a toxic tort lawsuit alleging that the high cancer rate in the small community is due to toxic chemical waste dumped by Morton International over 20 years which allegedly contaminated local groundwater. The defendant, Rohn and Hass, purchased the plant from Morton International in 1999. In turn, Rohm and Haas was bought by Dow Chemical Co. earlier this year.

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