As a Texas medical doctor and Benzene Leukemia attorney, I am providing this update of the recent Benzene lawsuits over the past 3 years.
On February 4th, 2013 a widow filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court (case no. B193-888) alleging her husband died from multiple myeloma caused by his exposure to benzene.
The plaintiff claims her husband was employed to ExxonMobil where he was exposed to benzene. He consequently developed multiple myeloma and died in 2012.
Illinois Town Benzene Exposure Lawsuit
An Illinois town has filed a lawsuit against several oil and gas companies, alleging that the town’s water, land and air have been contaminated by repeated chemical spills over the last several years.
The toxic tort lawsuit was filed on March 20, by the town of Roxana, Ill. against Shell, ConocoPhillips and the Wood River Refinery, known as WRB Refining LP. ConocoPhillips currently owns the refinery and Shell is a former owner.
In 2011, a number of Roxana residents filed a groundwater contamination class action lawsuit over benzene spills from the same refinery, which allegedly lowered property values in the town of about 1,500 people.
Plaintiffs alleged that Shell released at least 8,400 gallons of benzene from an underground pipeline that went from the Wood River Refinery in Roxana to a barge loading facility on the Mississippi River. The spill created a plume under the village that contaminated groundwater supplies, the lawsuit claimed. Similar leaks occurred from a BP facility in Wood River as well, according to the lawsuit.
Illinois Benzene Death Lawsuit
On December 26th, 2012, the estate of a man filed a lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court (Case no. 12-L-2083) alleging he suffered acute myelogenous leukemia and died as a result of his exposure to benzene. In the lawsuit plaintiff blames area refineries for her son’s fatal exposure to benzene.
What is Benzene?
Benzene is a petroleum product, originally manufactured from coal tar that is used as a component in multiple industrial and consumer products. Benzene is also a known carcinogen, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program.
Benzene has been associated with many fatal forms of cancer, leukemia and catastrophic blood conditions, such as Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL), Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDL), Myelofibrosis and Myeloid Metaplasia, Aplastic Anemia and Thrombocytopenic Purpura.
Risk of Benzene Exposure
Employees in many industries that produce or use benzene may be at risk for being exposed to this carcinogen. Some jobs include benzene production (petrochemicals, petroleum refining, and coke and coal chemical manufacturing), tire manufacturing, the printing industry, and storage or transport of benzene and petroleum products containing benzene.
Other folks that may be exposed to benzene include workers in the rubber industry, printers industry, pesticides production, detergent production, solvent production, paint and varnish production, waste management, oil refineries, chemical plants, shoe manufacturers, petroleum processing industries, steel workers, printers, laboratory technicians, firefighters, and gas station employees.
There are many examples of factory discharges, negligent disposal of benzene products and gasoline leaks from underground storage tanks that have released benzene into soil and water supplies.
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a licensed Texas Medical Doctor and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.