A Connecticut jury deliberated for more than four hours Wednesday before rejecting claims in a $40 million lawsuit brought by the wife of a former Exxon gas station owner that the Houston-based oil giant was responsible for the acute myelogenous leukemia that caused his death in 2018 at the age of 67.
Kiriaki Yoranidis and the estate of her deceased husband, Nicholas Yoranidis, filed a product liability lawsuit in 2020 against Exxon Mobil claiming that exposure to benzene from Exxon products, including gasoline, caused Yoranidis’ illness that led to his death.
Stamford plaintiffs lawyers Jacqueline Fusco and Brendan Leydon of Wocl Leydon asked the jury to award $30 million for the wrongful death of Yoranidis, $10 million for his spouse and undetermined punitive damages.
The six-person jury heard nine days of testimony and arguments and then returned with a defense verdict for Exxon Mobil that there was no defective design and no failure to warn.
Baker Botts partner and toxic tort specialist Ty Buthod, who represented Exxon Mobil in the litigation, said the testimony of Dr. Allison Stock, a New Orleans toxicologist and epidemiologist, was “particularly effective” in helping the defense “debunk the plaintiff’s claim of general causation.”
The defense legal team also included Exxon Mobil corporate counsel Ted Ray and Murtha Cullina lawyers Jennifer Morgan and Lorey Leddy.
Actually, 17 years ago this month, Buthod successfully defended Exxon Mobil in a Dallas County wrongful death lawsuit in which the plaintiffs claimed that benzene from Exxon’s products caused the acute myelogenous leukemia that led to the death. The jury ruled in favor of Exxon Mobil. The case was Cashiola v. Exxon Mobil.
The case is Yoranidis v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, Docket No. FST-CV20-6045701, Superior Court, Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk, Stamford, Connecticut.