John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 10, 2012, 2:00pm

GALVESTON - Complaining he contracted cancer as a result of benzene exposure, Dickinson local Raymond H. Darden Jr. has filed a lawsuit.

Recent court documents filed Sept. 4 in Galveston County District Court allege a number of companies -- including American Oil Co., Exxon Mobil Corp. and The Dow Chemical Co. -- contributed to the exposure which resulted in physicians diagnosing Darden with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Darden's wife is also a plaintiff.

The lawsuit shows Darden worked as a pipefitter at the Monsanto, Amoco, Union Carbide and GAF refineries in Texas City from 1975 to 1990 and as a product handler for Union Carbide from 1990 to 2010.

According to the original petition, he came into contact with benzene-laden products "placed into the stream of commerce" by Exxon and United States Steel Corp during the specified period of time.

It adds Darden performed numerous tasks with the Liquid Wrench, a product that supposedly contained benzene-laced raffinate.

The apparent exposure was needless, the suit says.

Darden asserts the respondents "intentionally, willfully, knowingly and/or recklessly exposed (him) to benzene by the conditions of work it imposed upon him," calling their conduct "morally reprehensible."

He claims the supposed ordeal caused him emotional distress.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney James D. Nebout with Burwell, Burwell & Nebout in Texas City is representing the plaintiffs.

Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-1903

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