Wrongful death suit filed against Huntsman, others for man's chemical exposure

David Yates Jul. 21, 2010, 7:55am


The widow of a former refinery worker is suing Huntsman Petrochemical and three other companies for allegedly exposing her husband to chemicals which hastened his death.

Sandra Collins filed a wrongful death suit July 15 in Jefferson County District Court, naming Huntsman, Synpol, Uniroyal and Michelin North America as defendants.

In her suit, Collins says all four defendants have either owned or operated a block of petrochemical facilities in Port Neches, known as the "SBR Complex," which is used to manufacture butadiene and synthetic rubber.

From 1972 through 1992, Collins' husband, Howard, was employed by the defendants or their predecessors, court papers say.

"During such employment Howard Collins Jr. was regularly exposed to butadiene, styrene and benzene chemicals," the suit states. "As a result of such exposures, he developed ... myeloid cancer, which caused or significantly contributed to his death on May 12, 2009."

The suit accuses the defendants of negligently failing to provide Howard with a safe work place and of negligently failing to test its products for chronic health effects, such as cancer.

Collins is represented by Beaumont attorney Dale Hanks of the Bush Lewis law firm.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Case No. D187-277

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