Benzene suit filed against 15 chemical companies

David Yates Sep. 28, 2010, 10:10am

An area refinery worker has filed suit against Chevron USA and 14 other chemical companies, claiming they exposed him to benzene and caused a blood disorder.

Henry Mires, along with his wife Patricia, filed their lawsuit Sept. 22 in Jefferson County District Court.

Some of the defendants listed in the suit include Texaco, ExxonMobil, DuPont, Shell Oil and Motiva Enterprises.

In his suit, Mires says that throughout his career he worked at the companies' Southeast Texas premises, where he was routinely exposed to benzene.

"As a result of such exposure, Mires has developed the blood disorder Thrombocytopenia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome," the suit states.

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) involves a group of disorders typified by peripheral cytopenia, dysplastic hematopoietic progenitors, a hypercellular bone marrow, and a high risk of conversion to acute myelocytic leukemia.

Mires accuses the defendants of negligently manufacturing benzene products and placing them into the stream of commerce with no regard to human health, court papers say.

He blames them for not warning him of the dangers.

"The reckless and morally reprehensible conduct by these defendants calls for punitive damages in a sum sufficient to make them appreciate the gravity of their shortcomings and bad faith in dealing with their employees and neighbors," the suit states.

Mires wife is also suing for loss of consortium and household services.

Provost Umphrey attorney D'Juana Parks is representing them.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Case No. A188-405

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