A Texas man who alleges benzene exposure on the job left him with a serious blood disorder has filed a lawsuit against several petrochemical companies and other manufacturers he worked with for several years.
Jack Turner and his wife Betty are seeking compensatory and punitive damages for Mr. Turner’s “consciousness of impending death,” the SE TexasRecord reports. Mr. Turner suffers from Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a form of blood disorder marked by poorly formed and/or malfunctioning blood cells.
Exposure to benzene over a long period of time, even in low doses, can result in Myelodysplastic Syndrome and various other blood disorders which can lead to leukemia – particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) – and other blood cancers.
Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid often identified by its sweet odor. While it occurs naturally from volcanoes, forest fires, and other organic events, benzene is mostly produced by human activity, mainly as a byproduct in the petrochemical and coal industries.
Benzene is also used in a multitude of industrial applications and is one of the 20 most widely used chemicals in the U.S. Benzene is most often used as an agent in the production of other chemicals and products such as plastics, lubricants, rubbers, dyes, solvents, and as a gasoline additive.
Benzene is a known carcinogen and its use in industrial processes continues. While benzene use has declined over the years because of health concerns, its presence in the workplace and in the environment continues to put people at risk of blood disorders and cancer.
The Turner lawsuit names as defendants ExxonMobil, Texaco, BP, Atlantic Richfield, Chevron, Firestone, Goodyear, Huntsman Petrochemical, Union Oil, and others. According to the SE Texas Record, the lawsuit states that Mr. Turner worked for the defendant companies throughout the 1950s and 1970s.
The Turners filed the lawsuit May 10 in Jefferson County Court in Beaumont, Texas. They see damages for mental anguish and medical expenses in addition to punitive damages.