June 27, 2006
The Associated Press has reported that a jury in Cleveland today cleared welding rod makers of any liability for heath problems affecting Ernesto G. Solis, a former civilian worker at a Navy base. Solis claims that years of exposure to the manganese in welding fumes damaged his health.
The jury was asked to decide whether the defendents—Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc.; ESAB Group Inc.; Hobart Bros. Co.; and TDY Industries, which no longer makes welding products—distributed welding rods with inadequate safety warnings and instructions. The jury found that this was not true.
Similar claims are pending in state and county courts across the U.S. Eric Wetzel, a spokesman for nearly 4,000 plaintiffs, said, "The vast majority of cases filed against the welding industry are far stronger than this one. We're disappointed but not deterred."