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Louisiana Benzene Case against Shell settled

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 13.47.36“Shell’s potential exposure to litigation throughout the US for benzene exposure claims may now be very significant – this could be a repeat of the asbestos claims of a few years ago.”

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an article published 11 April 2014 by HarrisMartin.com under the headline: “Parties Remaining in Louisiana Benzene Case Scheduled for June 2014 Trial Reach Settlement Agreement”

NEW ORLEANS –– Benzene plaintiffs and remaining defendants Shell Oil Company and Shell Chemical LP have reached a settlement agreement in a case that had recently been scheduled for a June 2014 trial. The parties filed a joint motion on April 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana noting that all of the plaintiffs’ claims against Shell had been settled…

SOURCE

Extracts from a related legal document

This matter arises out of wrongful death, survival, and product liability claims under Louisiana state law.1 Elise Leslie (“Ms. Leslie”) brought this action both individually and on behalf of her father, Bruce W. Leslie, (“Mr. Leslie”) against Defendants Shell Oil Company and Shell Chemical…

Ms. Leslie alleges that, because of this actual or constructive knowledge, Defendants actions and inactions give rise to numerous bases for her wrongful death and survival claims, including: negligence; gross negligence; negligent misrepresentation; and concealment, suppression, and/or omission of material information about the health hazards associated with benzene.

COMMENT FROM A SHELL RELATED SOURCE

The article about the case against Shell in Federal Court in Louisiana is interesting – as you may have noted the judge is Carl Barbier, who is also dealing with BP’s compensation payments! It is interesting to see that while Barbier ruled partially in Shell’s favour regarding the validity of the claim, he left open the product liability claim and effectively said that claims are not time limited because victims (and their families) would not have been aware of the links between benzene exposure and certain illnesses. Shell’s potential exposure to litigation throughout the US for benzene exposure claims may now be very significant – this could be a repeat of the asbestos claims of a few years ago. The rulings of Federal Courts tend to have national significance, whereas a ruling of a Louisiana State Court are really only significant in Louisiana.

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