Sons blame father's death on benzene exposure

Kelly Holleran Jun. 1, 2010, 6:18am


The two sons of a deceased man claim their father died after fighting a battle against multiple myeloma. The sons blame their father's employer for causing his disease.

George K. Kleepsies and Glen Kleepsies filed a lawsuit May 18 in Jefferson County District Court against Union Oil Company of California and Chevron.

The Kleepsies claim their father, George T. Kleepsies, worked for Pure Oil now known as Unocal and Chevron. Throughout George T. Kleepsies' employment, he became exposed to carcinogenic benzene and benzene-containing products, according to the complaint.

Because of his exposure to the products, George T. Kleepsies developed the multiple myeloma and died a "painful and terrible death" on Feb. 8, the suit states.

The Kleepsies blame the defendants for causing their father's death, saying the companies knew the products around which George T. Kleepsies worked could cause cancer but still allowed their plaintiffs to work around the products.

In addition, the defending companies failed to warn their workers of the dangers of benzene exposure and failed to take necessary safety precautions to ensure that George T. Kleepsies was not exposed to carcinogenic materials, the complaint says.

In their complaint, the Kleepsies seek punitive and exemplary damages, plus interests, costs and other relief the court deems just.

J. Keith Hyde of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing them.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E186-899.

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