Groves family sues Chevron alleging deceased man exposed to asbestos

Kelly Holleran Mar. 24, 2009, 7:12am

The wife and children of a recently deceased Groves man have filed an asbestos suit against Chevron, and its predecessor Texaco, alleging their husband and father wrongly died from an asbestos-related disease.

The family of Melvin Dupuis -- wife Catherin Dupuis and children Mary Renee Romero, Lori Dupuis, Rebecca Johnson, Catherine Laws and Christopher Dupuis -- filed suit against the two companies on March 20 in Jefferson County District Court.

They allege Melvin Dupuis was exposed to asbestos fibers through his work as a laborer, insulator helper, machinist helper, stillman and press operator at Texaco in its Port Arthur facility.

Melvin Dupuis died "a terrible and painful" death on Oct. 27, 2005, the suit states.

"The Defendants knew for decades that asbestos-containing products could cause the disease of asbestosis and asbestos-related cancers and still allowed their employees, such as Melvin Dupuis, to work with and around asbestos products in the workplace," the complaint alleges.

Plaintiffs allege the companies acted with malice and/or with gross neglect for exposing Dupuis to asbestos and failed to take the necessary engineering, safety, industrial hygiene and other precautions and provide adequate warning and training.

They are seeking unspecified punitive and exemplary damages, plus interest, costs and other relief to which they may be entitled.

They are represented by J. Keith Hyde of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E183-594.

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