Family of refinery worker sues Texaco, Chevron for benzene exposure

David Yates Feb. 20, 2008, 7:21am

Enos Louviere, a former Texaco employee, died of leukemia last December. Now, his benefactor, Alma Louviere, is suing the oil company, which she claims negligently exposed him to benzene.

The suit was filed in the Jefferson County District Court on Feb. 19, and also names Chevron U.S.A. as a defendant.

According to the plaintiff's petition, during Enos Louviere's employment with Texaco, he used and was exposed to toxic and carcinogenic benzene.

"As a result of such exposure, Enos Louviere developed myelodysplastic syndrome from which he died a painful and terrible death on Dec. 16, 2007," the suit said.

"The Defendants knew for decades that … benzene could cause deadly blood conditions and cancers and still allowed their employees … to work with and around such products in the workplace while knowing there existed to a substantial certainty that workers … would be exposed and would likely develop a deadly cancer."

The suit goes on to allege that Texaco and Chevron failed to take the necessary engineering and safety precautions and provide adequate warning and training to ensure that Louviere was not exposed to benzene.

"In view of Defendants' actual knowledge of the deadly hazards of benzene, amounts to gross neglect or malice under Texas law," the suit said.

"As a result of the aforementioned gross negligence of the Defendants, Plaintiff asserts claims for all elements of damages allowable under the law including exemplary damages and seeks to recover from the Defendants, an amount in excess of the jurisdictional limits of this Court."

Alma is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Keith Hyde.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District.

Case No. D181-257

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