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Pa. Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Case Claiming Pesticide Chemicals Caused Man's Leukemia

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments from both sides Wednesday at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh on whether some common pesticides caused a local man to die from cancer.

Now, they have to make a decision.

"My dad was 56-years-old when he died. He had nothing wrong with him," said Rich Walsh, the man's son.

Walsh, a KDKA sport anchor, is talking about his father, Thomas.

(Photo Credit: the Walsh Family)

Thomas Walsh used powerful pesticides like RoundUp to maintain golf courses in the area when he worked as superintendent. He died more than 10 years ago from leukemia. A lawsuit was filed against the chemical companies involved, claiming his cancer was caused by the pesticides.

Wednesday in court, the attorney speaking for the companies told the Supreme Court justices that there is no evidence that these chemicals cause Thomas to develop leukemia.

"It's hard to hear the opposition almost go against your dad and say this didn't cause leukemia," said Thomas's son.


However, the attorneys representing the Walsh family said there is a link.

"Tom's treating oncologist stated that the cancer was caused by a chemical insult to his system," said Walsh family attorney, Michael D'Amico. "I think if you turn on the news any time and see what's going on around the country with RoundUp, specifically, and other pesticides."

"In my heart, that's what I 100% believe happened," said Rich. "I would give up everything to have him back. He was my best friend, he was my dad and he's not here."

It's unclear when the state Supreme Court will make its final ruling. The attorney who spoke on behalf of the chemical companies didn't have a comment.

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