DuPont employee sues 43 companies for benzene exposure

David Yates Aug. 6, 2008, 2:00pm

Darren Brown

ORANGE -- A long-time employee of DuPont de Nemours claims needless exposure to benzene has caused him to develop cancer of his immune system.

Fred Thompson filed suit against Amoco and 42 other chemical companies, alleging that the benzene exposure lead to his diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His wife Darleen is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed July 28 in Orange County District Court.

Benzene, a natural constituent of crude oil, is used as an additive in gasoline and is also an important industrial solvent and precursor in the production of drugs, plastics, synthetic rubber and dyes.

Some of the other defendants in the suit include Chevron, Texaco and Shell Oil.

The suit accuses all the defendants of failing to adequately test their benzene-containing products before placing them into the stream of commerce.

In his complaint, Thompson alleges the oil companies possessed knowledge of the dangerous condition created by the cancerous benzene, but continued to expose laborers to the chemicals.

In addition to punitive damages, Thompson is suing for physical pain and suffering in the past and future, mental anguish in the past and future, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical impairment in the past and future, and past and future medical expenses.

The plaintiffs are represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Darren Brown.

The case has been assigned to Judge Buddy Hahn of the 260th Judicial District.

Case No. D-080294-c

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