Benzene suit names DuPont, eight other companies as defendants

Kelly Holleran Jan. 29, 2012, 12:14pm


A Texas resident has filed suit against DuPont De Nemours and nine other companies, alleging the companies caused him to develop leukemia by exposing him to benzene.

Norvel Dorsey claims he was exposed to benzene throughout his career as a pipefitter for Dupont from 1960 until 1965; at B.F. Shaw from 1960, 1966 until 1975, 1977, 1982 and 1985 until 1986; and at Foster Wheeler during 1958, 1968, 1976 and 1984.

Because of this exposure, Dorsey developed chronic lymphocytic leukemia, according to the complaint filed Jan. 18 in Jefferson County District Court.

In the complaint, the plaintiff names Chevron U.S.A., E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co., Exxon Mobil Corp., ExxonMobil Oil Corp., Exxonmobil Texas, Foster Wheeler Energy Corp., Gulf Oil Corp., Texaco, U.S. Steel Corp. and 4520 Corp. as defendants.

The plaintiff blames the defendants for causing his deteriorating health condition, alleging the premises companies negligently allowed him to work in what they knew to be an unsafe workplace. The employer defendants negligently enabled Dorsey to work around products containing benzene that they knew to be hazardous to his health while the product liability defendants utilized benzene in their products, the suit states.

The original complaint states that because of his exposure to the products, Dorsey experienced great physical pain, suffering and mental anguish and incurred medical costs. In addition, he suffered physical impairments, was prevented in participating in his normal activities, sustained a permanent disability, will require medical monitoring to aid in the early detection of any other cancers and experienced a damage to his blood-forming organs.

Dorsey is seeking compensatory damages, plus costs, interest at the legal rate and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by Herschel L. Hobson and Tina H. Bradley of Hobson and Bradley in Beaumont.

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

Case No. B191-669

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