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January 24, 2008

Benzene Exposure Failure-to-warn Claim Preempted by OSHA Regulations

A Minnesota DIstrict Court dismissed a wrongful death action brought by the family of a former industrial worker against the makers of benzene-containing products to which he was allegedly exposed in his workplace.  OSHA regulations that govern warning and labeling requirements for hazardous chemicals used in the workplace preempt any additional state law requirements, according to the court.  Thus, the only way the plaintiffs could show liability for failing to warn was to show that the manufacturers violated the OSHA regulation requiring warnings be given for products containing more than 0.1% benzene.  Because the plaintiffs produced no evidence that the defendants violated the regulation, the court ruled that the companies were entitled to summary judgment in their favor.  Vettrus v. Ashland, Inc., Minn. Dist. Ct., No. C9-04-817, Jan. 9, 2008).

JDP

January 24, 2008 | Permalink

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