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Cyrus Dugger

A Chance to Be Heard

From the New York Times:

A Chance to Be Heard

April 7, 2007
Editorial Desk

Jack Cline, an Alabama industrial chemist, was exposed to benzene on the job and developed leukemia. When Mr. Cline tried to sue, he ran into a surreal glitch in Alabama law: any time he filed his lawsuit would have been either too early or too late. Mr. Cline's widow, Martha Jane Cline, is asking the United States Supreme Court to review the case. The court should grant review, and rule that Alabama's laws violate the Constitution.

Mr. Cline worked at a manufacturing plant in Bessemer, Ala., until about 1987, in a job that kept him in close proximity to large amounts of benzene. He was found to have acute myelogenous leukemia, which is closely associated with benzene exposure, in 1999. Within two years of the diagnosis, he sued the benzene manufacturers, but his suit was thrown out. The courts ruled that the state's two-year statute of limitations ran from his last exposure to the benzene, which made his claim too late. (keep reading - subscription required)

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Posted at 12:31 PM, Apr 18, 2007 in
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