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Dismissal, jury verdict for Alcoa in cancer suit stand on appeal

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A couple who sued an aluminum manufacturer and claimed their exposure to toxic chemicals led to the husband’s rare form of liver cancer lost their appeal Tuesday.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a dismissal of a workplace exposure claim and a Warrick Circuit Court jury’s verdict in favor of Alcoa in Billy L. Musgrave, Jr. and Kim A. Musgrave v. The Aluminum Company of America, Inc., and Alcoa Fuels, Inc., 87A04-1205-CT-276.

Bil Musgrave had worked in the Squaw Creek surface coal mine in Boonville during a period in the 1960s and 1970s when Alcoa dumped industrial waste from a nearby smelting plant on the Ohio River. The Musgraves sued in 2006, several years after Bil was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare form of cancer affecting the bile ducts and liver. He ultimately received a liver transplant at the Mayo Clinic.

Judge Edward Najam wrote for the court in a 26-page ruling that Alcoa was immune from the work-related claims under the Workers’ Compensation act, and therefore dismissal was proper pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 12(B)(1).

“The trial court also properly instructed the jury on the statute of limitations, and the Musgraves did not preserve their argument that the jury instruction was not supported by the evidence for appellate review. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgment and the jury’s verdict for Alcoa,” Najam wrote.


 

 
 

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  1. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  2. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  3. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

  4. If our State Government would sue for their rights to grow HEMP like Kentucky did we would not have these issues. AND for your INFORMATION many medical items are also made from HEMP. FOOD, FUEL,FIBER,TEXTILES and MEDICINE are all uses for this plant. South Bend was built on Hemp. Our states antiquated fear of cannabis is embarrassing on the world stage. We really need to lead the way rather than follow. Some day.. we will have freedom in Indiana. And I for one will continue to educate the good folks of this state to the beauty and wonder of this magnificent plant.

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