The New Wave of Benzene Litigation: Class Actions


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About This Course

Benzene personal injury litigation has been around for decades. The plaintiffs in the traditional cases have alleged that their use of solvents, paints, varnishes, and other petroleum-based products have caused them to develop blood cancers. Recently, benzene was found in deodorants, sunscreens, and other personal care products. Subsequently, consumer class action cases were filed in federal district courts in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, California, and Oregon seeking reimbursement for consumers who purchased benzene-containing personal care products on the theory that they would not have purchased them had they known the products contained benzene.

The underlying assumption behind the class action filings is that the amounts of benzene found in the personal care products are enough to put users at risk of developing blood cancers. If this assumption is correct, the number of benzene personal injury cases could rise dramatically as blood cancer patients make a connection between their use of these products and the development of the disease.

This CLE course will explore the theories behind the class actions, the contrast with the more limited traditional benzene personal injury litigation, and the potential for an explosion of new benzene personal injury cases in the near future.

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