Judge postpones benzene trial

David Yates Apr. 5, 2010, 9:54am

Last week, the Southeast Texas Record reported that a trial against Univar USA over a man's alleged benzene exposure was slated to start April 6 in Jefferson County.

But the defense has made numerous objections, arguing it was not ready to present the case.

Judge Bob Wortham, who is presiding over the litigation, told the Record that he bumped the trial back three weeks to April 26, hopefully giving both sides enough time to shore up their cases.

Attorneys for Univar had asked Judge Wortham on March 25 to continue the case until June.

Judge Donald Floyd was originally presiding over the case, but the plaintiffs requested that case be transferred to Wortham's court so as to take advantage of an early April trial date, court papers say.

The case focuses on the late John Thompson, who worked as an independent contractor for various local refineries during the 1960s and early 1970s.

His widow, Carol, claims he was negligently exposed to benzene - a chemical she alleges caused him to develop leukemia.

Carol Thompson is seeking damages for her husband's past and future medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, physical pain, disfigurement, loss of consortium and loss of household services.

She is represented in part by Provost Umphrey attorney Darren Brown.

Scott is an attorney for the Abrams, Scott & Bickley law firm.

Case No. E181-199

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