An Illinois man is suing several companies, saying he was exposed to toxic chemicals emanating from a Wood River refinery that seeped into surface and ground water and discharged into the air, causing him to develop myelodysplastic syndrome, a disorder that affects the bone marrow where blood cells are made.
Willard and Cheryl Carpenter filed the lawsuit Sept. 17 in the Madison County (Illinois) Circuit Court against Shell Oil Company and BP Products North America, among others, alleging the companies put the lives of people living in close proximity to their Wood River Refineries in danger.
As a result of the companies’ recklessness, the lawsuit alleges, in November 2015 Mr. Carpenter was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome. He claims he developed the condition after becoming exposed to fumes emanating from the plants; fumes, he says, that contained cancer-causing benzene. Thus, Carpenter claims he will require lifelong medical treatments that may include chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant, endure pain and suffering, and a shortened life expectancy.
Long-term exposure to benzene can cause harmful effects on the bone marrow, leading to a decrease in red blood cell production, which can cause anemia, as well as blood cancers like acute myeloma leukemia (AML). Benzene exposure is also listed as a possible cause of myelodysplastic syndrome.
The Carpenters’ lawsuit claims the companies are responsible for Mr. Carpenter’s illness because they were negligent and breached their duty to exercise reasonable care and caution for the safety of nearby residents.
Madison-St. Clair Record