Schultz v. Akzo Nobel Paints, LLC, No. 12-1902 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
From 1981 to 1989, Schultz worked painting equipment, floors, walls, ceilings, and pipes at AMC company plants. In 2005 he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He died 2006. His wife sued paint companies, alleging that the companies produced or distributed the paint Schultz used at work and that benzene from the paints caused his disease. She offered reports from two experts: Stewart, an industrial hygienist, who reconstructed Schultz’s work with the paints to quantify his benzene exposure, and Gore, an oncologist, who testified that benzene is generally known to cause AML and specifically was a substantial factor in the development of Schultz’s disease. The district court granted the companies summary judgment on the ground that Gore’s testimony was scientifically unreliable; without that evidence, Schultz had no way of linking his disease to the paints. The Seventh Circuit reversed in part, holding that the district court erred in excluding Gore’s testimony.