ExxonMobil Hit with $725M Verdict for Failure to Warn About Cancer-Causing Benzene in Gasoline

Philly jury finds benzene in gasoline caused former mechanic’s leukemia diagnosis

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia jury has returned a $725.5 million verdict against ExxonMobil, finding the company’s failure to warn about the known health risks of exposure to cancer-causing benzene in its petroleum products was responsible for a former service station mechanic’s acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis.

The jury deliberated one full day before reaching a 10-2 verdict on behalf of Paul Gill of Addison, New York. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Gill was exposed to benzene in ExxonMobil products, including gasoline and solvents containing benzene working as a mechanic at a Mobil service station in Philadelphia between 1975 and 1980. In court testimony, Mr. 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. Mr. 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,” said trial lawyer Patrick Wigle of Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel. “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.”

Benzene has long been known to cause leukemia and other cancers of blood cells. According to the National Institutes of Health, there is no safe level of exposure to the chemical, which has been a common ingredient in gasoline, solvents, adhesives and other petroleum-based products.

Over seven days of trial, Locks Law Firm and Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel attorneys presented evidence that ExxonMobil concealed information about the dangers of its products that contain benzene that would have spurred businesses to use vapor recovery systems and have employees use respirators to limit exposure. In trial testimony, an ExxonMobil representative testified that the company had been aware of benzene’s dangers at least since 1950.

The case is Paul Gill and Diane Gill v. ExxonMobil et al., Case ID 200501803, in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania.

In addition to Mr. Wigle, Mr. Gill was represented by Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel partner Rajeev Mittal and Andrew J. DuPont from Philadelphia-based Locks Law Firm.

About Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel

Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel is devoted to helping families in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving asbestos and mesothelioma, benzene exposure, dangerous pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and birth defects caused by pesticides, toxic chemicals, opioid use, and semiconductor chip manufacturing. Based in Dallas, Texas, with offices in Los Angeles, California, and Moline, Illinois, the firm represents plaintiffs in qui tam whistleblower matters and cases that uncover false claims submitted to the government.

What are my chances?

That’s the first question everyone asks. The truth is it’s impossible to know. But we can tell you this. Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel has what it takes to fight against big corporate interests and win. That’s why we’ve taken more mesothelioma trials to verdict than any other firm. And that’s why we’ve recovered more than $1.3 billion for clients like you. Do you think you have a case? Contact us now to speak with an attorney.

Call 800.226.9880