Goodyear, others named in employee's benzene suit

Kelly Holleran Nov. 1, 2010, 10:56am


A Chambers County man has filed suit against Goodyear and other corporations, alleging they exposed him to benzene which caused him to develop multiple myeloma.

Luke G. Collins worked as a building finisher and maintenance man at Goodyear in Beaumont from 1970 until 2008.

During the course of his employment, Collins worked with and near the defendants' "toxic and carcinogenic products," from 1970 to 1978, according to the complaint filed Oct. 8 in Jefferson County District Court.

The suit names ExxonMobil, South Hampton Resources, Sun Oil Co. and Union Oil of California as well as Goodyear Tire & Rubber as defendants.

Because of his exposure to the toxic products, Collins developed multiple myeloma, causing him physical pain, suffering and mental anguish, the suit states. In addition, Collins incurred medical costs, suffered disfigurement, lost his enjoyment of life and lost wages, the complaint says.

Collins' wife, Patsy Collins, also a plaintiff, claims she has lost his solace, comfort, companionship, society, assistance and sexual relations.

The couple blames the defendants for causing Collins' disease, saying they failed to provide an adequate warning of the products, failed to perform testing of their products and failed to recommend adequate engineering controls to reduce the exposure of their employees.

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

Tina H. Bradley of Hobson and Bradley in Beaumont will be representing them.

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

Jefferson County District Court case number: D188-572

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