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Wal-Mart Workers' CO Claim Runs Out of Gas
(CN) - A group of Wal-Mart employees waited too long to sue over their
alleged exposure to carbon monoxide gas in the freezer section of
Wal-Mart's distribution center in Kentucky, the 6th Circuit ruled.
Cincinnati appeals court agreed with a federal judge that the
plaintiffs -- current and former Wal-Mart employees and their spouses --
should have sued within a year of their last alleged exposure to the
The plaintiffs blamed the exposure on two companies, Unarco
Material Handling and Atlas Material Handing, which allegedly operated
propane-powered welders inside the distribution center. Wal-Mart was not
a party to the lawsuit.
Another group of employees had sued
within Kentucky's one-year statute of limitations and eventually settled
their claims with Unarco and Atlas.
The distribution center
employees who sued later, dubbed the "new plaintiffs" by the 6th
Circuit, argued that the companies had been notified of their claims by
the original plaintiffs' timely lawsuit.
Judge Richard Griffin
rejected this view as "myopic."
He also tossed the plaintiffs'
"half-hearted argument" that their injuries from the carbon monoxide
exposure were latent, and thus weren't known right away.
new plaintiffs concede that their injuries from carbon monoxide
exposure, like those of the timely plaintiffs, manifested immediately,"
The three-judge panel concluded that the lawsuit
was properly dismissed as time-barred.
Retired and loving it.