..and wins landmark ruling in US case against Du Pont

Russell Jones & Walker has won a victory on behalf of clients whose babies were born without eyes, which is allowing them to have their case heard in the US.

Alan Care, a litigation executive at Russell Jones, believes the decision could be a watershed judgment for foreign claimants seeking compensation in the US.

The firm's clients – three UK families – are suing US chemicals giant Du Pont, which manufactures the pesticide Benlate.

The mothers were exposed to Benlate during pregnancy, causing their babies to be born with no eyes or microscopic eyes.

The Delaware appellate court last week overruled a lower court ruling by allowing “forum” – which enables the families to sue Du Pont in Delaware. The families are being represented by three US firms – Ferraro & Associates based in Miami, Jacobs & Crumplar based in Delaware and Ness Motley.

Care tells The Lawyer: “The general trend has been that the US courts have not been accepting cases on forum grounds.

“This is an important step, because the judgment is entirely based on law and will influence other courts.”