Jerry Correll and Mary Correll filed a lawsuit on Dec. 8, 2015, against Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Meyer Oil Company, Illinois Tool Works and Chevron USA, claiming they are to blame for the benzene exposure that led to his blood disorder.
On May 18, Jerry Correll was diagnosed with myeoldyspastic syndrome (MDS). According to the American Cancer Society, MDS occurs when the blood-forming cells in the bone marrow are damaged, and is considered to be a type of cancer. The damaged cells have trouble making new ones. In about one-third of MDS patients, the condition can lead to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Occupational exposure to benzene long-term is a risk factor of both MDS and AML.
Correll worked at a petrol refinery that was owned and operated by Chevron in Lawrenceville, Ill., from 1964-1969. From there, he worked at Marathon’s refinery in Robinson, Ill., from 1969-1999. In both workplaces, Correll claims he was exposed to excessive amounts of benzene.
Because he purchased gasoline from both Chevron and Marathon (which contains benzene) and used carb-and-choke cleaner (also containing benzene) made by Illinois Tool Works, Correll says his benzene exposure continued through their products.
On-the-job exposure is a particular danger for benzene-related illnesses and injuries. People who work in close proximity to benzene or benzene-containing products can be put at serious risk because their exposure can occur at much higher levels and for prolonged periods of time.
Workers that are at higher risk of benzene exposure include (but are not limited to) automobile mechanics, floor layers, carpet cleaners, petroleum refining and extraction, petroleum product shipping and transport, and steel workers.