Philadelphia Jury Orders Exxon Mobil to Pay $725.5 Million in Benzene Case

May 13, 2024
Exxon calls ruling "irrational;" plans to appeal.

A jury has ordered Exxon Mobil Corp. to pay $725.5 million in damages to a former mechanic who alleged that exposure to benzene present in the company's petroleum products caused him to develop cancer.

The plaintiff, Paul Gill, of Addison, New York, claimed the company didn’t warn about the risks of benzene exposure from its products, including gasoline and solvents. Gill said he was exposed to benzene during his employment as a Mobil service station mechanic from 1975 to 1980, according to a statement released on May 10 by Gill's attorneys.

The jury deliberated one full day before reaching a 10-2 verdict on behalf of Gill.

In court testimony, Gill described using gasoline and solvents every day to clean car parts with his bare hands, which exposed him to benzene through the skin and also from inhalation, according to a statement from his attorney, Patrick Wigle of Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel. Gill was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019.

“This verdict is important because it’s a finding that their gasoline causes cancer. ExxonMobil has known for decades that benzene causes cancer, yet they resisted warning the public and taking basic precautions to limit exposure,” Wigle said. “We’re grateful that this jury listened closely to the testimony and decided that it’s time to hold corporations like Exxon accountable for placing profits over people.”

Exxon Mobil plans to appeal the verdict, calling it “irrational,” according to a Bloomberg News report.

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