A former automotive industry worker has filed a federal lawsuit against United States Steel Corporation and two affiliated companies, alleging he was harmed by decades of exposure to solvents containing benzene that he was required to use.
Minnesota resident Leonard Samuelson filed his complaint in a Minnesota federal court January 15, alleging that his career as an automotive mechanic and auto hobbyist required him to work with a number of products containing toxic benzene, including Liquid Wrench; Berryman B-12 Chemtool Carburetor, Choke, and Throttle Body Cleaner; and Berryman Brake Parts Cleaner.
His exposure to dangerous levels of benzene in the automotive products spanned 50 years, the lawsuit contends, and caused him to develop Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), a group of bone marrow disorders in which the bone marrow fails to produce enough healthy blood cells.
“As a user and consumer of the products supplied by Defendants … Leonard Samuelson was exposed to dangerous carcinogenic materials including but not limited to benzene and benzene-containing solvents without knowledge or warning about these dangerous materials,” the lawsuit asserts. “At the time Leonard Samuelson was exposed to these substances, he was unaware of the detrimental effects these products would cause to his body.
“Defendants knew or should have known that the products they utilized, distributed, marketed, manufactured, or otherwise placed into the stream of commerce, including toxic solvents and chemicals, were deleterious, poisonous, carcinogenic, and highly harmful to the body and health of Plaintiff,” the complaint asserts, adding that the companies “failed to take any precautions or to warn … of the dangers and harm to which he was exposed while handling” the products.
Mr. Samuelson seeks compensation for medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, physical impairment and disfigurement, loss of earnings, mental anguish caused by his injuries, and punitive and exemplary damages exceeding $75,000.00