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ARTICLE ID 28467

$________ COMPENSATORY TO 29 OUT OF 42 PLAINTIFFS - $________ PUNITIVE TO THE 29 PREVAILING PLAINTIFFS - TOXIC TORT LITIGATION - DEFENDANT CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS FAIL TO IMPART PROPER WARNINGS REGARDING POTENTIAL ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS OF EXPOSURE TO VARIOUS PRODUCTS IT PRODUCED - DEFENDANTS ALLEGEDLY FAIL TO PROVIDE PROPER INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING SAFETY EQUIPMENT.

Los Angeles County, California

This action was originally initiated by ________ workers employed by the defendant Lockheed Corporation from various periods of time spanning from the ________’s to the present day. The subject trial involved 42 plaintiffs and five defendants and was the fifth trial in a coordinated action. The five defendants in this case were Unocal, Shell, Exxon, DuPont and Ashland Oil. The plaintiffs were assigned to construct top secret military aircraft and the plaintiffs alleged that it was in this capacity that they sustained injury or harm. The plaintiffs contended that the defendants failed to adequately warn the plaintiffs of the health hazards associated with the use of certain chemicals to which the plaintiff were necessarily exposed to in the performance of their work.

The plaintiffs were employed at the Lockheed Burbank facility, building top secret military aircraft such as the Stealth Bomber and the SR-71 Blackbird. In manufacturing these planes, the plaintiffs used a variety of chemicals which were manufactured and supplied by the defendants to Lockheed. The defendants’ chemicals at issue primarily consisted of solvent products, such as MEK, Toluene, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetone and Trichlorethane. These chemicals were used throughout the manufacturing process by all workers, mainly as cleaners and de-greasers.

The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants failed to adequately warn the plaintiffs of the health hazards connected with using their chemicals. The plaintiffs additionally maintained that the defendants failed to provide proper instructions regarding the necessity for the use of certain safety equipment to protect against dangerous exposure.

The defendants contended that their products could not cause injury in the manner advanced by the plaintiffs. The defendants further asserted that Lockheed was totally at fault in failing to protect its workers by providing a safe work environment. The defendants noted that Lockheed was found liable for thousands of OSHA violations. The defendants also maintained that due to the Top-secret nature of the various Lockheed aircraft projects, the defendants were unaware of how their products were being used.

The plaintiffs claimed numerous injuries, including cancer, central and peripheral nervous system damage, respiratory damage, liver and kidney damage. There were also several wrongful death claims asserted. Most of the plaintiffs were employed at Lockheed Burbank for between 15 to 40 years. The plaintiffs also claimed they were entitled to punitive damages based upon the allegedly "despicable" nature of the defendants’ conduct toward the plaintiffs.

Immediately prior to the first trial, Lockheed settled for p 7 3 $________. During the litigation, approximately ten defendants have settled, including Arco, Allied, Henkel, General Electric and 3M Corp. The amounts of these settlements are confidential.

Prior to the first trial, all 22 chemical defendants could have settled for a total of $________ for all plaintiffs at approximately $________ per defendant. This offer was withdrawn.

Prior to the second trial, the defendants could have settled for $________. This offer was also withdrawn. Prior to the fourth trial, all parties were ordered to a Mandatory Settlement Conference before the Honorable Enrique Romero. The defendants offered $________ and the plaintiffs demanded $________.

The jury found for 29 of the 42 plaintiffs. The total compensatory award was $________. There were defense verdicts rendered as to 13 plaintiffs. Six of these cases were decided on a statute of limitations defense and seven were wrongful death cases involving decedents who suffered from cancer and who had smoked. The successful plaintiffs suffered from injuries ranging from cancer, brain damage, respiratory damage and liver damage.

Most of these plaintiffs worked between 15 to 40 years at Lockheed Burbank. All 29 plaintiffs received punitive damages awards against all five defendants totaling $________.

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