This paper explores why there has been so little litigation in this area considering both the harm posed by used oils and the high rate of exposure in many occupations. To aid in an analysis, three distinct topics will be addressed. First, basic information establishing the harm caused by prolonged exposure to used lubricating oils will be presented which will aid in understanding the potential liability. Second, existing case law shall be analyzed. Finally, the development of future litigation will be explored. Plaintiffs in these suits will typically be persons exposed to used oil by common machine lubrication applications - occupations such as automobile mechanics, manufacturing maintenance personnel and industrial machine operators - who have been exposed to these oils for prolonged periods of time. Likely defendants are companies engaged in formulating, processing, marketing, selling and distributing these oils.
Note, Potential Toxic Tort Litigation: Will Used Oil Be the Asbestos of the 21st Century, 8 J.L. & Health 269 (1993-1994)