Wife sues refinery over man's exposure to benzene

David Yates Nov. 24, 2009, 7:50am

The wife of a deceased refinery worker has filed suit against Chevron USA, alleging the chemical company exposed her late husband to benzene.

On behlaf of Ray Parker, Louise Parker filed the suit Nov. 23 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the suit, Parker was employed by Gulf Oil, now Chevron.

"During his employment he used and was exposed to toxic ... benzene," the suit states. "As a result of such exposure, Parker developed multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic from which he died on Dec. 22, 2008."

The suit does not state when Parker worked for Gulf Oil or what his work duties entailed.

The suit goes on to allege that Chevron knew for decades that benzene products could cause deadly blood conditions, including cancer, but exposed workers anyways.

The suit also alleges Chevron failed to timely and adequately warn workers of the dangers of benzene and failed to take the necessary engineering, safety, industrial hygiene and other precautions and provide adequate warning and training to ensure that the deceased was not exposed.

The plaintiff is suing for exemplary damages.

She is represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Keith Hyde.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E185-388

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