MANHATTAN (CN) – Almost 50 New York City drivers and their spouses are suing General Motors and 16 other diesel engine makers, claiming exhaust from the dirty engines gave them cancers and respiratory diseases. Drivers developed leukemia, lymphoma, heart disease, lung disease, and cancers of the lung, throat and esophagus, and two of them – Nicholas Morrone and Anthony Vaccarino – died of lung cancer, according to the federal complaint.
The drivers say the manufacturers tried to bypass the Clean Air Act by installing “defeat devices” that allow the engines “to pass pre-sale emission tests, but then turned off the emission controls during use.”
The drivers also fault the manufacturers for failing to “conduct research, testing or studies to determine the harmful health effects of diesel engine particles” before and after selling the engines.
“After the product was sold to the public, it was feasible, technologically and economically, to recall or retrofit the diesel engines and the buses … in a manner that would eliminate or reduce the harmful heath effect,” the complaint states.
Sued for negligence, product liability and wrongful death are General Motors, Grumman Aerospace Corp., Northrop Grumman, Orion Bus Industries, Daimler Buses, New Flyer Industries, KPS Capital Partners, Harvest Partners, Nova Bus, Transportation Manufacturing Corp., Prevost Car, Detroit Diesel Corp., Cummins, and Caterpillar.
The drivers are represented by John Durst and the Law Offices of John C. Dearie.