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Appeals court revives civil suit filed by relatives of former Uniroyal-Goodrich workers

EAU CLAIRE, WI (WTAQ) - A state appeals court has revived a civil suit filed four years ago by relatives of employees at the former Uniroyal-Goodrich tire plant in Eau Claire.

The plaintiffs said materials with benzene resulted in a number of employee deaths and injuries.

Circuit Judge William Gabler threw out the case in 2011, saying the statute of limitations had expired.

The judge said the claims should have been filed within 3 years after the actual deaths – but the plaintiffs said the three-year clock didn’t start until the causes of the deaths and injuries were discovered.

The appellate judges called that a “genuine issue of material fact,” and they sent the case back to the circuit court.

The lawsuit has a number of petroleum firms as defendants including Exxon-Mobil, Texaco, B.P., and Sunoco.