Groves man blames lymphoma on benzene exposure, 80 companies named in suit

Kelly Holleran Nov. 3, 2010, 3:59pm


A Groves man claims his employer is responsible for causing his lymphoma.

Leo Foreman and his wife filed a lawsuit Oct. 14 in Jefferson County District Court against Chevron and 80 other companies.

Leo Foreman worked on industrial refinery and chemical plant facilities at Texaco, DuPont Beaumont Works, Gulf Oil and Arco Polymers in Port Arthur and Port Neches beginning in the 1970s. Throughout Foreman's employment, he became exposed to carcinogenic benzene and benzene-containing products, according to the complaint.

Because of his exposure to the products, Foreman developed the lymphoma and experienced physical pain, suffering and mental anguish; lost wages and his earning capacity; and suffered physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of society and loss of consortium, the suit states.

The suit blames the defendants for causing Foreman's death, saying the companies knew the products around which he worked could cause cancer but still allowed their employees 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 Foreman was not exposed to carcinogenic materials, the complaint says.

"Such defendants have not only demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice human beings such as Leo Foreman, but they have inexcusably neglected to utilize available technology and methods, and neglected to develop new technology and methods, and made no efforts to ascertain the dangers of their chemical fallout into the neighborhood and the workplace," the suit states.

Foreman's wife, Sherrie Foreman, is also a plaintiff in the suit.

In their complaint, the Foremans seek damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits, plus interest and other relief the court deems just.

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

Jefferson County District Court case number: E188-612

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