WKPS Lawyers Block Boeing from Dismissing Workers’ Birth Defect Claims

An article published by Law360 highlights the work of Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel attorneys who secured a closely watched ruling on behalf of Boeing manufacturing plant employees seeking to hold the company accountable for birth injuries caused by exposure to toxic chemicals on the job.

In “Boeing Can’t Exit Wash. Worker’s Birth Defect Suit,” reporter Rachel Riley details Boeing’s unsuccessful effort to throw out a lawsuit filed by former worker John Kemmling on behalf of his 17-year-old son, Christian. Although Boeing has acknowledged that employers have a duty to care for employees, attorneys for the corporation claimed the company should not be accountable for the health of workers’ unborn children.

According to the lawsuit, Mr. Kemmling was exposed to heavy metals, industrial solvents and other hazardous materials at Boeing’s Everett and Renton plants in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Mr. Kemmling worked from 1996 to 2002 as a fuel tank sealer at a Boeing factory in Everett, north of Seattle; he worked for seven more years starting in 2005 at a Boeing plant in Renton, south of Emerald City.

Christian was born in 2006 with a series of lifelong physical and intellectual disabilities, including a rare genetic condition called Ohdo syndrome, an eye movement disorder known as Duane syndrome, a heart defect and Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as intellectual disabilities that have rendered him nonverbal.

Writes Law360:

The lawsuit alleges Boeing’s documented understanding of the chemical dangers at its manufacturing facilities dates back to 1980, when occupational health manager Dr. Barry Dunphy allegedly told then-company President Mel Stamper that 30,000 employees in the Puget Sound region were regularly being exposed to toxic chemicals — including some with the potential to cause “stillbirth” and “fetal abnormalities.”

The company is accused of failing to warn employees about the chemical dangers, train them on how to properly handle hazardous substances, provide adequate protective gear and ventilation, and offer less chemical-intensive assignments to employees who are trying to have a baby.

The family has maintained that Boeing took on the duty to protect John Kemmling’s future child when it created a foreseeable risk of harm by continuing to use various toxins, despite knowing the dangers. 

“The birth-defect claims in this case, including the existence of a duty of care to later-conceived children of Boeing workers who were exposed to reproductively toxic chemicals, are very important, and we look forward to proceeding with the litigation,” Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel partner Michael Gurien told Law360.

At least five similar lawsuits have been filed against Boeing that allege workers’ exposure to toxic chemicals caused birth defects in their children. One of the other lawsuits is pending, while at least three have settled.

How We Help Victims of Boeing Toxic Exposure

Seek justice with the help of our experienced lawyers. Our birth defects law firm has battled corporate giants on behalf of individuals like you for 20 years, aggressively fighting to hold them responsible for dangerous chemicals and the birth defects and personal injuries they cause. If you have a child with birth defects caused by working at Boeing, we can help.

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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.

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