Eli Lilly and Company announced in a press release that the 2nd Circuit of the Labor Court of Paulinia in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has ruled against the company's local subsidiary, Eli Lilly do Brasil, in a labor case alleging some employees were exposed to hazardous materials in a manufacturing facility operated by the company between 1977 and 2003. The judge estimated the impact of its order to be approximately $450 million.
A group of former employees in Brazil allege they were exposed to chemical substances at the manufacturing facility. However, the alleged contaminants - benzene and heavy metals - were never used in the manufacturing operations at the facility. In addition, the published ruling is based on inaccurate scientific claims, as well as mathematical errors.
"Safety of our employees around the world is paramount," said Michael J. Harrington, senior vice president and general counsel for Lilly. "In this case, there is absolutely no basis for the court's decision that employees were harmed based on extensive scientific and medical assessments conducted by third party health experts, as well as by Lilly.
"For that reason, we strongly disagree with the court's ruling and will appeal this decision."