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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. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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