Chemical plant worker sues 28 companies over benzene exposure

Kelly Holleran Jan. 25, 2011, 9:12am


After working as a "long-term employee" for the Jefferson Chemical/Texaco Chemical Co. plant, Jefferson County resident Mark Majors claims he was exposed to benzene, causing him to develop blood cancer and multiple myeloma.

On Jan. 14, Mark Majors and his wife, Sylvia, filed suit against American Cyanamid and 27 other companies in Jefferson County District Court, alleging they negligently exposed him to benzene despite being aware of the dangers.

The other defendants include Cytec, Texaco, TRMI Holdings, Wyeth Holdings, Amoco Chemical Co., Amoco Oil Co., Atlantic Richfield Co., B.P. Amoco Chemical Co., B.P. Products North America, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Exxon Mobil Oil Corp., Mallinckrodt Baker, Mallickrodt, McKesson Corp., McKesson HBOC, Sabine Towing and Transportation, Sequia Corp., Shell, Shell Chemical, Shell Oil, Union Oil Company of California, Univar, Fisher Scientific Co. and Fisher Scientific International.

According to the lawsuit, Majors worked at the Port Neches chemical plant through the late 1970s and "was occupationally exposed to various toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, including but not limited to, benzene, benzene-containing products and other carcinogens."

In addition, Majors was exposed to an aromatic distillate product manufactured at the plant, which contained high concentrations of benzene.

As a result of his exposure to the various chemicals, Majors developed blood cancer and multiple myeloma, the plaintiffs claim.

The suit alleges the defendants negligently failed to warn customers and workers of the dangers of benzene despite having actual knowledge.

The Majors are seeking damages for Mark Major's alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages and for Sylvia Major's mental anguish, medical costs, loss of her husband's society and household services and costs for nursing care.

They are represented by Beaumont attorney Darren L. Brown of the Provost Umphrey law firm.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B189-181

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