Family blames death on chemical emissions

David Yates Feb. 6, 2008, 4:00am

The family of Elbert Ray Lovett have filed a wrongful-death suit on his behalf against 48 chemical companies, claiming their benefactor was negligently exposed to toxic substances during his refinery career.

The suit was filed with the Jefferson County District Court on Feb. 1. Some of the defendants in the suit include Shell Chemical, Texaco and the Proctor and Gamble Manufacturing Co.

According to the plaintiffs' petition, Lovett died of bladder cancer on Oct. 27, 2007. He worked as a driver and operator for various area refineries.

"Plaintiffs will show … that the defendants released chemicals into the ambient air knowing that such chemical emissions would travel outside … and would be inhaled by Lovett," the suit said.

The Lovett family contends the defendants are liable for exposing Lovett to chemicals while working on their premises, negligent for failing to warn him and protect him from the chemicals, the suit said.

The suit also accuses the defendants of fraud and concealment, claiming the chemical companies hid the truth about their nitrate-containing products.

The family is suing for Lovett's past and future mental anguish, medical expenses, impairment disfigurement and lost wages, plus loss of consortium and punitive damages.

The Lovett family is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by Tina Bradley, attorney for The Law Offices of Herschel L. Hobson.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th Judicial District.

Case No. B181-177

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