Somerville Cancer Lawsuit Slowly Chugs Towards Verdict

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

The hotly-debated Somerville cancer lawsuit slowly chugs toward the finish line.

Day two of jury deliberations began Thursday, and after seven hours of discussion, a verdict still has not been reached.

Jurors were first given the case around 4 p.m. Wednesday, and Thursday they continued deliberating only to break for lunch and to ask for a large blank notepad and an easel.

Jurors asked if they could use their own personal knowledge in their field of expertise towards parts of the case.

The judge told the jurors they could use that knowledge, but not talk about it with other jurors or influence other members.

For more than a month, attorneys on both sides have been pleading their cases.

The plaintiff, Linda Faust, alleges that the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe plant caused her to develop stomach cancer.

She says years of washing her husband's chemical soaked clothes and living near the Somerville plant where railroad ties were treated -- and where toxic chemicals were released into the air -- made her ill.

BNSF maintains there is no evidence proving the chemicals from the plant caused Faust's cancer, and instead, point to her half-pack-a-day smoking habit.

In closing arguments Wednesday, attorneys discredited each other's experts and studies.

Thursday afternoon, jurors left again without reaching a verdict, and they won't meet again until Monday.

Deliberations are expected to resume Monday morning at 8:30 a.m.


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