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Lilly to appeal $450M ruling over poisoned workers in Brazil

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Eli Lilly and Co. plans to appeal a ruling from a judge in Brazil that fined the pharmaceutical giant and an Italian firm $450 million for poisoning workers at a manufacturing plant in the South American country.

Brazilian federal prosecutors announced the verdict on Friday. They had accused a Lilly subsidiary of incinerating toxic waste from third parties, releasing heavy metals and gases that poisoned some of the 500 workers at the plant in Cosmopolis, according to Reuters.

The ruling followed a 2008 lawsuit against Lilly and Antibioticos do Brasil Ltda, a unit of Italy's ACS Dobfar, which now owns the site. Prosecutors said 77 of 80 former workers tested for the initial filing presented evidence of poisoning.

Lilly officials strongly objected to the judge’s verdict.

"Safety of our employees around the world is paramount," said Michael J. Harrington, senior vice president and general counsel for Lilly, in a statement released Friday.  "In this case, there is absolutely no basis for the court's decision that employees were harmed based on extensive scientific and medical assessments conducted by third-party health experts, as well as by Lilly.

"For that reason, we strongly disagree with the court's ruling and will appeal this decision."

The alleged contaminants—benzene and heavy metals—were never used in the manufacturing operations at the facility, according to the company. It also claimed the published ruling was based on inaccurate scientific claims and mathematical errors.

Lilly operated the manufacturing plant from 1977 to 2003, according to the company. Cosmopolis is about 90 miles north of San Paulo, Brazil.

Lilly spokeswoman Amy Souza said Monday that the firm still was scrutinizing the ruling, which was issued in Portuguese, to get a better sense of how it specifically applied to the company.

As part of the recent ruling, Judge Antonia Rita Bonardo prohibited operations at the plant for a year due to the environmental impact, according to Reuters.
 

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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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