These cases take place in Maine and involves members of an industrial cleaning crew who claim that they were exposed to a range of dangerous and carcinogenic products over the course of their employment without their knowledge. Over a period of fifteen years, members of this industrial cleaning company regularly worked with solvents, cleansers, disinfectants, and other chemical products on a daily basis. Over time, many of this company’s employees who were actively involved in cleaning activities have contracted various types of cancer. While the employees did take precautions when performing their duties, such as instituting “donning and doffing” policies of wearing protective clothing, they claim that they were never warned of the specific risk of cancer posed by the cleaning products they were using. It is alleged that, had the employees been aware of the risk of cancer, they would not have performed this kind of work.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please discuss your background in warning labels for industrial cleaning products.
- 2. Are you familiar with the Federal Hazardous Substances Act?
Expert Witness Response E-004804
I have personally produced warning labels for paints and related products – both for my own company’s products and those of clients for whom I have consulted. I have also served as an expert witness for numerous litigation actions involving failure to warn about the hazards associated with industrial cleaning products, as well as a full range of hazardous commercial substances. I am very familiar with the FHSA as well as with the OSHA Hazard communication standard that applies to paints and other materials produced for commercial and industrial applications. I have several hundred cases both as a consultant and as an expert witness. I have never been disqualified by a State or Federal court. There is certainly an argument to be made here if the products that these men were using lacked explicit warnings that indicated the risk of cancer from long-term, repeated exposure. Occasionally, issues can arise where products will give clear indication of immediate or acute risks while failing to sufficiently warn of longer-term effects, which may have been the case here.