Benzene plaintiff seeks to push back March trial setting until 2013

David Yates Oct. 3, 2011, 11:38am


Seeking to tack an additional year of preparation time, a plaintiff in a benzene lawsuit has filed a motion to push back a March 2012 trial setting.

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."

As previously reported, 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.

Court records show that a discovery control plan order was entered in the case on July 15, slating the case for a March 2012 trial.

Villemez filed his motion on Sept. 22, requesting that the trial setting be pushed back until March 2013.

The suit alleges that 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.

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

Beaumont attorney Keith Hyde of the Provost Umphrey law firm represents him.

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

Case No. A189-155

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