A judge in Delaware has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former PVC pipe company employee who claimed that her job gave her liver cancer.
Lori Ann Sanzone worked at a PVC pipe plant briefly in 1978, and said it gave her angiosarcoma, a rare form of liver cancer. Her case was featured in the 2002 documentary film Blue Vinyl. She sued in Superior Court in Wilmington, Del., in 2000.
Sanzone initially was diagnosed with angiosarcoma, a disease found among workers of PVC resin plants in the early 1970s, but her doctors subsequently said she suffered instead from epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, or EHE, according to her Wilmington-based lawyer, Robert Jacobs. EHE can result in tumors in the liver, spleen, skin or other organs.
The Arlington, Va.-based American Chemistry Council said in a statement that Sanzone's doctors declined to testify that she had angiosarcoma.
Jacobs said the doctors did not know what caused Sanzone's tumor. He said Sanzone will be paid a settlement, and so did not oppose industry motions to dismiss the case. The case was dismissed Jan. 28.
Jacobs declined to describe the settlement. Sanzone had sued about 30 companies that either made PVC or were involved in the industry.
ACC officials said in a statement that they wished Sanzone well, but also portrayed the decision as a victory for the industry.
``This is a major blow to those who would try to file unjustified lawsuits,'' the trade group said. ``We are pleased the court recognized that vinyl chloride played no role in the illness she contracted or the claims that she brought.''