Man blames cancer on exposure to benzene

Kelly Holleran Jun. 10, 2013, 6:06pm

A man has filed suit against his former employer, alleging he developed cancer after being exposed to benzene products while working. 

Benjamin Tate claims he was working as a crew member for defendant American Commercial Lanes, a marine transportation company based in Indiana, where he was required to load and discharge barges carrying various hydrocarbon liquids, including crude oil. Some of these substances contained benzene, according to the complaint filed June 4 in Jefferson County District Court.

Due to his exposure to benzene, which is a carcinogen, Tate developed lymphoma, which is a type of blood cancer, the suit states.

Because of his disease, Tate has experienced mental and physical pain and suffering, endured a fear of dying and lost his physical and mental functions, the complaint says. He also claims he lost his earnings and his earning capacity, incurred medical costs and lost earnings.

Tate blames American Commercial Lanes for causing his injuries, saying it negligently failed to provide him with a safe place to work, failed to exercise reasonable care, failed to properly train and supervise him, failed to establish safe procedures and rules, failed to train and supervise him in the proper use of respirators and violated federal laws concerning exposure to petroleum.

In his complaint, Tate is seeking monetary relief of more than $1 million but no more than $25 million.

He will be represented by S. Reed Morgan of Comfort.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Case No. E194-418

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