Benzene suit filed against Chevron, 6 other companies

David Yates Jan. 20, 2011, 8:38am


For more than 10 years, Beaumont resident Claude Villemez claims he was exposed to benzene while working as an electrician, causing him to develop "a serious blood disorder."

On Jan. 12 he filed suit against Chevron USA and six other companies in Jefferson County District Court, alleging they negligently exposed him to benzene despite being aware of the dangers.

The other defendants include Texaco, Exxon Mobil, Marathon oil, Shell, Fisher Scientific Co. and Fisher Scientific International.

According to the petition, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Villemez worked as an electrician and "was regularly exposed to benzene and benzene containing products."

"As a result of such exposure, Claude Villemez developed a serious blood disorder," the suit states.

The suit does not describe Villemez's blood disorder or offer any more insight into his work history.

However, the suit does allege the defendants negligently failed to warn customers and workers of the dangers of benzene despite having actual knowledge.

Villemez is seeking damages for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages.

He is represented by Beaumont attorney Keith Hyde of the Provost Umphrey law firm.

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

Case No. A189-155

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