The widow of a leukemia victim failed to persuade the Supreme Court Monday to consider allowing her to sue oil companies over her husband’s exposure to a toxic chemical, a case her lawyer calls a legal “Catch 22″ in Alabama.

The justices without comment declined to take up the case of Martha Jane Cline, who is trying to hold the companies accountable for her late husband’s health problems. Jack Cline, of Vance, Ala., died in January.