Children claim father died from benzene exposure

Kelly Holleran Sep. 19, 2011, 5:26pm


The four children of a recently deceased man claim their father died from lymphoma which he developed after a career of working near products that contained benzene.

Keith Gebauer, Ronnie Gebauer, Lajunda Williams and Gaytha Guillot filed a lawsuit Aug. 31 in Jefferson County District Court against Chevron and Texaco.

The plaintiffs allege their father, Fred Gebauer, was exposed to "toxic and carcinogenic" benzene and benzene-containing products throughout his career at Texaco. As a result, Gebauer developed Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and died on Feb. 7, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs blame the defendants for causing their father's death, saying they negligently allowed their employees to work around the chemicals despite the defendants' knowledge of the potential hazards of exposure. In addition, the defendants failed to warn of the dangers of exposure to benzene, the suit states.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs seek punitive and exemplary damages, plus costs.

J. Keith Hyde and D'Juana Parks of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing them.

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

Case No. D190-777

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