Welding Fumes May Contain Manganese

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Welding Rod Lawsuit Settled for Seven–Figure Amount

CLEVELAND, OH — September 16, 2005 — A welder’s lawsuit against two welding rod manufacturers has been settled for a seven–figure amount, according to news sources. Charles Ruth claimed that he had been exposed to dangerous welding fumes containing manganese, and developed tremors, balance, and speech problems. These symptoms may be signs of manganese poisoning, illnesses related to Parkinson’s disease (Parkinsonism), or even Parkinson’s disease itself.

Mr. Ruth worked as a welder at Ingalis Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi beginning in 1997. Two years later, doctors at Baylor Medical Center in Houston determined that his physical problems were related to manganese from welding fumes, according to Mr. Ruth's attorney.

Mr. Ruth sued the welding rod manufacturers, Hobart Brothers and the London–based ESAB Group. The suit charged that these companies knew that manganese–containing welding fumes were hazardous. However, they failed to warn welders about the dangers posed by welding rods, and gave no instructions about protective equipment, according to the suit.

The Charles Ruth case is the first of over 6,000 welding rod lawsuits that have been consolidated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Multidistrict Litigation Number 1535). Thousands of similar cases have been filed in state courts throughout the nation.

The Dangers of Welding Fumes

During the welding process, some welding rods give off fumes that contain manganese. Although manganese is present in small amounts in our food, inhaling the metal can damage the nervous system and brain.

Many welders develop Parkinson's disease, often at an earlier age than would be expected for those who contract this illness. Parkinson's disease is a serious movement disorder that damages the brain's ability to make dopamine, a chemical involved in transmitting signals between nerve cells. Symptoms of Parkinson's disease include slowed movements, body stiffness, poor balance, and shaking or tremors, especially when at rest. Many welders also suffer from a movement problem labeled manganism or manganese poisoning. It presents many symptoms that are similar to Parkinson’s disease.

Your Welding Fume Case

Brayton Purcell is now evaluating cases involving welding fumes. If you are a welder and have Parkinson's disease or suffer from Parkinson–like symptoms, please feel free to contact us to learn about your legal options. We have been handling medical/legal cases for over 20 years, including those involving exposure to toxic substances.