Michigan Supreme Court hearing case on health, oil spill

FILE - In this July 29, 2010 file photo, a worker monitors the water in Talmadge Creek in Marshall Township, Mich., near the Kalamazoo River as oil from a ruptured pipeline, owned by Enbridge Inc, is vacuumed out the water. The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to expand rules for pipelines carrying oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids inspections requirements to include rural areas that are currently exempt, and for companies to more closely analyze the results of their inspections. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a lawsuit that links a man’s health problems to a disastrous oil spill that spoiled the Kalamazoo River in 2010.

Chance Lowery says he suffered coughing, headaches and vomiting when he was exposed to fumes from the heavy crude near his home in Calhoun County. He says those problems led to a ruptured artery.

The issue for the Supreme Court is whether Lowery needs to present expert testimony to sustain his lawsuit against Enbridge Energy. The case is on the docket Wednesday.

Lowery’s lawyers say there should be no dispute that his problems were related to toxic fumes. Enbridge argues that expert testimony is needed. The company says Lowery lived miles from the spill, and his health problems occurred weeks later.

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