California Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Diesel Exhaust Warnings
October 30, 1998
Nov. 2 -- A Los Angeles judge recently dismissed a lawsuit that accused four engine manufacturers of failing to warn the public about the health dangers of diesel exhaust.
Environmental World Watch sued Cummins, John Deere, Detroit Diesel and Caterpillar, saying the companies did not warn Los Angeles County residents about cancer-causing diesel fumes as required by state law.
The law in question is Proposition 65, a measure passed in 1986 that requires warnings when workers, consumers or the general public are exposed to substances causing cancer or birth defects. But Superior Court Judge Edward Ferns agreed with the engine companies, who said the companies already litigated over Proposition 65 in a 1994 lawsuit in San Francisco and can’t be sued again in a different jurisdiction.
Environmental World Watch says it will appeal, because the 1994 suit only addressed warnings to owners and operators of diesel equipment, not the general public.