Four petrochem companies named as defendants in benzene suit

Kelly Holleran May 6, 2010, 2:39am


The children of a recently deceased man claim their father was exposed to benzene and other carcinogens throughout his career with several petrochemical companies.

Jobeth Allen and Lisa Wolfe filed a lawsuit April 21 in Jefferson County District Court against Atlantic Richfield, B.P. Products North America, Chevron and Texaco.

The plaintiffs claim that while their father, Joe Allen, worked for Atlantic Richfield and Texaco, he was exposed to toxic and carcinogenic benzene and benzene-containing products.

Because of his exposure to the substance, Joe Allen developed acute myelogenous leukemia from which he died on Jan. 30, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs blame the defendants for a number of negligent acts, such as allowing Joe Allen to work around the substance when they knew of its hazards, failing to timely and adequately warn Joe Allen of the dangers of benzene exposure and failing to take proper precautions to ensure that Joe Allen was not exposed to benzene.

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

Darren L. Brown of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: B186-652.

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