Expert says benzene caused man’s cancer, death

David Yates Oct. 4, 2013, 2:39pm

An expert report linking benzene to a man’s cancer has been submitted in a lawsuit against Chevron USA and Texaco.

As previously reported, Orange County local Betty Comeaux, surviving spouse of Francis Comeaux, filed the suit Feb. 28 in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the defendants exposed her late husband to benzene and caused his cancer. 

According to the lawsuit, Texaco employed Francis at its Port Arthur facility. During his employment, he was exposed to benzene.

The suit alleges that as a result, he developed myelodysplastic syndrome, “from which he died a painful and terrible death on January 30, 2013.”

The affidavit of Dr. Ramesh Karia was filed Aug. 16, court records show.

In his report, Karia says it is well known in the medical literature that benzene is the cause of MDS and that it is his opinion that Francis Comeaux’s occupational exposure to benzene contributed to his condition.

The defendants are accused of using benzene products without warning workers of the health risks.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants acted with malice, entitling her to exemplary damages.

Beaumont attorney Darren Brown of the Provost Umphrey law firm represents her.

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

Case No. A194-031

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